Linux’s capacity for configuration is exceptional — while it’s pretty known that you can configure it to however you like (such as with SUSE Studio), that capacity isn’t limited to just the selection of used software (ranging everywhere from the graphics stack to the desktop environment to the office suite). In fact, one of the great benefits of Linux’s flexible nature is that you can put the software on any computer imaginable, from high-powered supercomputers to netbooks to embedded systems such as aircraft entertainment systems.
Laptops have a particularly short lifetime. While it is possible to upgrade laptop hardware, one day the time will come when that is just not possible or worth it any more. This is when you will want to copy your data from your old laptop to a new device. How you can do this essentially depends on how much data there is to back up and whether or not the old laptop is still booting.