Are you installing Mint 18 Mate to your 32-bit Lenovo or your 64-bit Acer?
(just making sure for clarification as your thread is long)
Sorry you are having so much trouble with VLC.
As dave67 said;
There is still no driver update to fix this issue as yet.
Without a fix for the driver I'm not sure how you could solve the issue.I'm thinking only a Developer could fix it. Sorry I can't.
You might want to install a VM on your Xubuntu installation and try a handful of different distros.
Maybe consider trying/installing another distro on that machine. All distributions come with different kernels and provide the support for your machines architecture.
Fedora works very well with a lot of different laptops.
It's cutting edge and has always worked out of the box for me on my sony Vaio with Intel technology.
Another distro like Ubuntu and Xubuntu is Elementary OS. You could give that a spin too.