Use the Linux Hardware (LH) database. To create a profile in the LH database the system has to run linux, so non-starters are weeded out It is best to avoid systems that have not been on the market long (and aren’t in the LH database).
The safest and most economical choice is usually an “enterprise” level “refurbished” laptop from a major vendor. These are generally robust (and are often sold only to large enterprises that buy in quantities of 1000’s). There is currently an oversupply of enterprise level laptops, either because they don’t support Windows 11 or due to staff cuts by large organizations. Apple Intel laptops are also worth investigating.
A drawback to the LH database is that it doesn’t provide much detail – for some devices the available drivers meet the needs of some users but not those of other users. Be prepared to use external USB wifi, bluetooth, and sound dongles. These don’t cost much and are a safety net for times when the linux support for one of your devices doesn’t support your use case.
Let me put it this way - that’s not fair to make others do research for you without even knowing your use cases, forcing others to make false guesses and invalid assumptions. The best way to look for useful help - you make 4-5 your priorities and evaluate the list against those priorities. Unclear situations/issues then could be asked and discussed in this forum.
I do not want this sound “bouncy”, nonconstructive or similar. But you have to put your effort in understanding what you really need/want and ask more specific questions. Questions could be inaccurate, incomplete, etc. - that’s totally fine, but it is not enough to say - “pick a laptop for me”.
P.S.: to finish with a proposal This is my method, feel free to adjust it to your needs:
In the first place you check all “chipsets” (WiFi, Bluetooth, sound, etc.) and “xPUs” (CPU, GPU) of each laptop for linux support - any known issues by Google/Bing/DuckDuckGo/etc
1.1 Make shortlist of 2-3 machines on best supported laptops. Definition of “best supported” - “chipsets” and “xPUs” have FOSS drivers available or proprietary drivers are provided to FOSS community and actively maintained by respective vendors/maintainers of Linux distribution of your choice.
Check the short list for well known model issues as some times there are strange combinations of HW which are poorly integrated and causing headaches.
E.g., Intel based MacBooks with Broadcom WiFi modules - drivers for those modules are not provided by Fedora, thus you’ll have to use USB WiFi dongle or mobile data via cable to enable RPMFusion and the install required packages containing Broadcom drivers in order to make MacBook Pro fully functional. For those who want to avoid such chores, it is better to avoid machines which have HW not supported directly by distro. Or choose another distro, which will provide proprietary bits and pieces.
This incurs added risks: 1) the distro may remove proprietary stuff at some point in the future, 2) proprietary stuff can be slow to make security patches or adapt to changes in linux and is generally “high maintenance”.
When purchasing a system you should avoid models that don’t have kernel support for all the devices you want to use. Apple may be an exception to this rule because many techie Apple users install linux and have well-known workarounds for gaps in linux kernel support, and because many of us have family members willing to "donate’ apple devices when they buy a new one.
Sure. I’m not promoting non-free, closed source SW. Sometimes those bits and pieces are necessary to do the job thus users are taking such risks. Or you have still functional machine laying around and want it run FOSS, but there is one element/module which required non-FOSS to functions and community has provided support for that - why not to use that opportunity ? Even is some CLI work is required ? Of course, not everyone is ready for that.
As somebody has mentioned, all-Intel (CPU, GPU/APU, LAN/WiFi, sound, etc) machine is quite safe choice to install majority of Linux distros. Or mix of Intel&AMD HW.