Some notes on Linux - Opensource and the whole GNU :)
I prefer XFCE because it is highly configurable for the resources used. It is fairly intuitive as well. So gage you hardware needs - how much ram you have - how old your hardware is, do you have a broadcom wifi card
Now for distro choices:
If you have a Broadcom card look to Mint 18.2 in XFCE, Peppermint 7, Korora in XFCE. Try E17 from the Mint and Peppermint repositories on these distros - nice.
These three work well out of box and a good place for starters. With more experience, antiX and Bodhi are super light weight in ram usage. Bodhi legacy 32bit is a flat out homerun booting up at 70megs.
Lubuntu and LXLE also light weight and excellent. Mageia and Manjaro in XFCE, Plasma, Mate - great features but needed some extra work, such as loading Codecs for audio,
or install some support software. These distros are worth extra effort. Parrot is a cool security distro. There are studio versions for artists -
like Ubuntu Studio, Sparky Multimedia. Recent testing Xubuntu and Swag Arch. Xubuntu is fast and improved. Swag Arch is seems awesome - could be the best sleeper distro out there.