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Looks like a newer laptop. Almost any of the top 50 at distrowatch.com would work as a single boot. If you want you may wish to try installing a virtual machine in xp and run a number of them to get an idea of what suites your needs. A VM is a software that acts like a real computer. You run both xp and your vm at the same time if you want.
There is no "best" only different. Visit distrowatch.com and read about the major distros. Also, I recommend keeping Windows and doing a "dual boot" unless you are absolutely 100% sure Linux will meet all your needs.
Hi the details of the laptop are as follows,
dell precision M65
997MHz. 3.00GB of Ram
its not quite as it was as i increased the memory, i hope these details help, and thanks for considering the query.
If you are brand new to Linux, Ubuntu, Mint, or Fedora come to mind first... But as the others suggested, look on distrowatch and read about each of the top 10 distros at least and see what sounds good to you and give it a try. There are hundreds of distros out there all doing things a little different. So pick you one out and try it.
Also, I agree with snowpine. Unless you know for sure Linux will do everything you want it to do for you, I would dual boot, that is unless you are just completely fed up with windows and are wanting to jump all the way in linux and learn the OS. Remember, Linux is not Windows and does things differently. Not wrong, just different. The biggest frustration with beginners in my opinion is they want it to work exactly like windows and it just doesnt. Good luck with it. LQ is a great community and pretty darn good at helpin folks out
i will follow your advice and check the distros on offer, it is nice to know its not like windows, i use a mobile connection, because i live on a boat, when you are on a mobile connection permanently then, you can see windows as it really is,to be kind to them i find it viral invasive and controlling, these are the only words i can put here but there are a lot more i could use but wont. I am looking foreward to the near future when i delete the windows operating system completely and just to make sure i will re format the whole drive so no trace of them exist, except for a vauge memory of it. Thanks again for your help and advice.