I downloaded Linux Mint 14.1 MATE 64-bit version from the web site. I extracted the ISO image to an USB flash drive and installed from the flash drive. Linux Mint 14.1 did install from the USB flash drive, where Linux Mint 14 would not install. When Linux Mint 14 install, towards the end of the installation process it would crash and hang the system. After successfully installing Linux Mint 14.1 from the USB flash drive, I have been installing other programs in Mint and it runs much faster than Windows 8.
I do play a Windows based game, Bejeweled 3. In Mint I installed WINE and was able to install Bejeweled 3 without any errors or problems. When I played Bejeweled, the same ran smooth and the graphics looks good in Mint. I ran the game in full screen mode and regular window mode where the game played smoothly. When I tried to play this game in WINE within other Linux distributions, the game did not run or the graphics were lagging (or jerky) so bad that it was not worth attempting to play.
Linux Mint 14.1 seems to run good on the secondary laptop. I do not need to worry about Windows 8 product activation and all the other hide-n-seek issues of where did Microsoft put that feature or program. So far Mint is good, however, Linux in general is not up to par with Windows in usability and ease of use.