I think either OS is a good choice, though I personally prefer Linux Mint 19 Mate. Are you going to dual boot with Windows? If so, be careful, for Windows sometimes doesn't play nice with other operating systems on the same PC. But it's been a while since I've done so, and maybe it's not longer an issue. Enjoy Linux.
I've been distro hopping for well...a very long time.
Around the time of Ubuntu 11.04 or 12.04 Linux became ready for prime time & I've gotten some of my friends who are devoutly non-techie very happily into being 100% Linux users with zero looking back needed.
I was not impressed with Mint - what it does mostly (IMO) is to take a lightweight start & bulk it up too much.
Presently I have Ubuntu Mate 18.04 set up with XP running in a VM for some apps that I could do without, but really like too much to just do away with - and it runs better as a guest OS than it ever did natively.
One great nicety about Ubuntu Mate is that it can easily be made to resemble the classic, ordinary desktop that so many folks have become comfortable with - which is the case with my 88 y/o friend as well as the 35 y/o friend - they love that it is so very trouble free and that they no longer have to pay the 'antivirus tax' as the older man always called it.
If you have some windows apps that you wish to keep using that aren't dependent upon excess stuff like dot net (I calls that dot krap...), it is also very easy to install & use wine to facilitate that usage.
Thanks much Isamorph and Extraterrestrial_Zoologist for your helpful posts!
Two points in particular made by Extraterrestrial_Zoologist have solidified my thinking:
1)“Presently I have Ubuntu Mate 18.04 set up with XP running in a VM for some apps that I could do without, but really like too much to just do away with - and it runs better as a guest OS than it ever did natively”
2)“One great nicety about Ubuntu Mate is that it can easily be made to resemble the classic, ordinary desktop that so many folks have become comfortable with”
I’m going to buy an Ubuntu MATE 18.04.1 LTS pre- loaded flash drive (less than $20). It’ll be simpler and error free for a novice like me.
It's not that difficult to download the iso image of Ubuntu Mate 18.04.1 to your computer and write or burn it to a flash drive and save yourself $$. There are plenty of tutorials on how to do so, and the Ubuntu Mate website probably has one. That said, if you buy, here's probably a good place:
I agree with much of the criticism presented in the article.
I recently installed Linux Mint on my MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015). This after trying Ubuntu and Fedora unsuccessfully, both of which balked at the NVMe controller. Getting the Wifi working with Broadcom drivers was surprisingly easy, however.
Although I was eventually able to find and install close equivalents to software I use daily on MacOS, the overall desktop experience was lacking.
Wavebox is a robust app for managing multiple G-Mail (and other types of) accounts, available for Linux and other desktop OSes. Note: Annual fee for Pro edition. https://wavebox.io
Given the many people who favor Linux distros over Windows and Apple systems but still find it necessary to dual boot with a Windows OS on their PCs, it is apparent that only a small group of die-hard Linux (millions, though) users have totally given up their needs and desires for other systems, as attested by the many posts on Linux forums dealing with dual boot problems with Windows. Personally, I have a Windows OS that I keep on a separate hard drive for the few times a year I might need it, and because I have a phone license and system that will only work on Windows OS. That said, because there are certain features, such as iMessage, that will not easily sync between Linux and Windows and Apple, most people are understandingly unwilling to completely break from these two systems and completely embrace Linux, not to mention the fact that many businesses require the use of Windows. Linux is indeed in need of standardization, but Windows is itself suffering from being overtaken by Linux as businesses, Chromebooks, Android phones, etc., become more enamored of the powers of the Linux system.
"In fact, if it were possible to analyze every single piece of technology out there, Linux would almost certainly come out on top."
And at least for personal pcs, Linux distros are basically free, which is always attractive.