Hey there random reader,
I just wanted to describe some of the personal experiences I have had with various hardware within the past 6 months using Ubuntu 12.04 64Bit. Some of these include my custom made desktop and my HP DV3500 laptop. Others are custom made desktops for friends/peers, or laptops/netbooks/macbooks.
Just a bit of background regarding me, I've been using Windows as an OS since Windows 95 and only discovered Ubuntu in 2008 with their 8.04 release. I've been an Ubuntu user since 2008 and I can say I am really happy I got the chance at the time to experiment with and discover this distribution. I am, and hopefully will be, an Ubuntu user for the foreseeable future. I am only a student at the age of 21 soon to be 22. I started using Ubuntu when I was 17.
Ubuntu 12.04 has been the most stable release for me thus far. I've practically messed with it in as many ways that I know and its stayed strong and kept on working. 12.04 has to be the first Ubuntu release that nearly all my hardware has worked with out of the box.
This is however excluding my silly D-Link DWA 140 Wireless Dongle, but thankfully to askubuntu I managed to get help from some great community members who experienced a similar scenario. In the process I learned about DKMS a bit(Dynamic Kernel Module Support) and how to install my own RaLink driver from the terminal, which was super fun.
I've had the chance to use Roccat's Kave headset and it works great, especially the neat sound desk remote control. The Razer Charcharias works just as well and I've recently been using a SteelSeries 4H (albeit without the USB soundcard) and it works beautifully. My motherboad (an Asus M4A88TV EVO USB3) has a Realtek soundcard (ALC892) and Realtek has really easy to install Linux drivers which I've tried and they work great as well.
I've also had the good fortune of using the Razer Abyssus, Razer DeathAdder (Bumblebee) and Logitech TrackMan Marble and they all work great. All are ambidextrous pointing devices, since I like to switch between using my right hand and left hand a lot depending on what I am doing.
I've also had the liberty of using an Armageddon Taranis Kai-13 keyboard, which I am typing this with (Previously was a generic Samsung keyboard bought in 2004, which has finally given way). The beauty here is that the keyboard is 100% functional on Ubuntu. I didn't think it would work with all the fancy buttons, but heck that proved to be a non-existent nightmare.
The macro keys work, the sound buttons work great! Ubuntu recognizes the mute, volume up and down, the game key, the led keys and the various macros I've set up with it. This really made my day, and I felt the need to let others know about this here.
Since I am very much a person into gaming, I have gotten the chance to try these graphics cards out on Ubuntu 12.04 (although some of these were friend's/family computers which I helped set up). AMD RadeonHD 4850, 5450, 5670, 6850, 6870, Nvidia 9300M GS, 9400GT, Nvidia 550 Ti, Intel GMA950 and lastly my old school ATi 1650 which I started using Ubuntu with
In all of these, the open source drivers have worked out of the box great for videos like Youtube's 1080p stuff. However, for the real 3D performance, the proprietary drivers were what I usually ended up installing on all those systems. They've all had great performance with the proprietary drivers and I've never had a complaint (except with silly Wine VS AMD drivers hehe). Even helped a friend install Ubuntu on a Macbook and it worked out great, although it was a 2009 model I believe.
However, the biggest pain I have had in terms of graphics has been with Hybrid laptop graphics. Whenever I am asked to install any form of Linux on a laptop with hybrid graphics, it becomes really painful and many times unsuccessful.
In the past six months, I have tried installing Ubuntu 12.04 on an AMD 6850M with an Intel hybrid. Until now, I have been unsuccessful. The opensource driver causes the HP Envy 17" to overheat, and the proprietary drivers do not yet support this (as my knowledge comprehends). I have also struggled with an Optimus card (Nvidia 550M), and now I understand why Linus previously gave them the middle finger.
One other device I thought might not work, but ended up working wonderfully was my Bamboo Wacom tablet (small version). I had a blast using it in conjunction with Gimp 2.6 and 2.8 during my various University assignments.
I've also messed around with learning some coding, and in Ubuntu it is by far easier to install and start developing for C++ and Pygame/Python and OpenGL. However, as recently it is not that easy to get up with Java. Trying to figure out whether I have Oracle's or the OpenJDK installed, being used was a tad difficult but I've learnt how to overcome it for now.
For anyone reading this who has never tried Ubuntu before, give it a go! If my younger 5 year old and 7 year old siblings can use and modify Ubuntu to their liking, you certainly can!
Heck, when I installed Windows 7 on their computer as my dad requested, they personally asked me to install Ubuntu on it for them. They missed the free games and the tinkering they could do with it
TL;DR , I can basically say that Ubuntu has amazing hardware support. It truly is stable, safe, and reliable while still retaining flexibility.
To the developers, bug catchers, and community helpers, KEEP IT UP! You guys are what make Ubuntu stay Ubuntu