I've got the Passport 8500 and it does detect laser. I was hit with one and it picked it up. Now the only thing about the laser is it's more precise and the cops usually aim for your front license plate. Very little scatter so unless they point it at your windshield your detector may not signal.
Also something I learned is if you are the only one on the road don't speed because if you get a signal it's too late. I was driving a stretch of highway 34 in sw NE last summer and on this particular stretch I know a state trooper drives the opposite direction in the afternoon. I picked up a signal as I crested a hill and knew to slow quick, sure enough he was coming the other direction. As we passed he gave me a wave like "Almost had you". Saved a ticket because I wasn't doing Mach 7 and was able to take off some speed fast. Another time I was driving down the 2 lane highway and had an SUV pass me he was moving at a pretty good clip ( about 90 in 65). I let him get about 1/2 mile up and them I stabbed the go fast pedal and kept pace with him. If he was hit with radar then I would know it and be able to slow down.
here's a website I found for some info http://www.speedzones.com/
Radar detectors are not a bad investment but after learning the hard way that they have marginal effectiveness against pop radar and almost no protection against LIDAR I s*** canned my detectors completely.
I now treat front/rear plates and all lenses on all my cars with VEIL to handle laser and I bought a good digital scanner that I transfer to whatever car I'm driving.
In my area 5 of the ten closets jurisdictions run laser only and all but one jurisdiction uses unencrypted radio communiactions.
VEIL is a paint-on covering that is highly effective against laser. I can attest that it pisses the cops off because they will track my car until I get within a couple hundred feet when they get a reading. The only problem with VEIL is it tends to wash off after a while and you need to reapply it.
The scanner is a top of the line Bearcat that picks up Analog and Digital frequencies, but not the APCO 25 encrypted frequencies.
Wichita Falls PD is the only police agency in my area that is encrypted and I simply keep an open eye out and my speed reasonable. Having used the scanner for years it is very simple to tell who is where and what is going on. It isnt uncommon for me to slow down well in advance of someone equipped with a detector. I have station to car, and car to car frequencies loaded for every agency in a 300 mile radius.
Obviously the scanner has limited use if someone does a lot of driving outside their normal driving areas because you'ld spend all day googling police frequencies and loading them into the scanner, but if you do local driving a scanner can be a benefit.
Everyone does what they feel is best and for me its treat the reflective areas with VEIL and use a scanner, and for many its using a radar/laser detector.