You’re very welcome!
POP_OS is a great alternative too, though its environment has more of the Mac outlook. From my understanding, you’ll be looking more of a Windows-like look - so that you get more familiarized. Hence, to get your “feet wet”, I’d recommend you go with Linux Mint.
Your system is fine in regards to its specifications, so you will have no issue.
The question you’ll need to ask yourself is if you are going to use both operating systems. If yes, then during the installation process select the option to Install Mint alongside Windows and if it asks you for size, select half of your free space (around 400GB) and you should be good to go.
First, you’ll need a USB stick/flash-drive/thumb-drive of at least 4GB capacity. Make sure that you copy all files out of it, as the USB itself will be wiped when you prepare it for installation.
I would also recommend having an external drive and copy all your Windows personal files to it, just in case excitement takes over and you accidentally delete Windows. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Once the above steps are done, you can then go to:
and download & install Etcher.
Then, download Linux Mint from the LayerOnline link here:
Once the ISO downloads, plugin your USB and run Etcher. First, you’ll need to select the ISO “From File” (the one you just downloaded), then select your USB, and last - hit “Flash.” It will take a few minutes to record and verify.
When it is all done, reboot your system (provided you used the same laptop to flash the USB) and enter your BIOS or hit the ESC button and then hit F9 for the boot menu (that’s the combo on the HP laptops). Select your USB as your boot medium and then you will be taken to a Live version of Linux Mint. At that point, Linux is not installed on your system, but it runs as a preview. If you’re good with it, then you can double-click on the “Install” icon on your desktop and simply follow the instructions.
If you have any issues afterwards, please let me know.