Previously I've used Linux Mint and Ubuntu 16.04, and both somehow ran slow on my old laptop, and messing up trying to change some mint settings broke Cinnamon, and I couldn't do anything. Today I installed Ubuntu MATE on my new HP Stream 14 laptop, which is fairly low on resources and space, and I couldn't be happier (a fairly simple process, just spammed Esc and then selected my boot USB, erased Windows and made the switch).
First, the desktop environment is amazing and customizable, and thanks to the beautiful screensavers and pre-installed panels, I had a stunning homescreen in under 5 minutes. For a system with 4 gigabytes of RAM, I wasn't sure how fast it would be. The first thing I noticed was that my download times were noticeably more faster than Windows (x3 speed). I'm not sure if this is because I'm using wireless and my PC uses an ethernet extender, but it definitely has improved my experience.
Prior to using this distro, I mainly used Windows 10 (for running games), but a large portion of my steam library is available on here. I inserted an 128 GB SD card to install games, and it worked pretty much instantly. The software boutique made it easy to install everything I needed (Steam, Synaptic, Visual Studio Code, Ardour, pretty much everything I use except Eclipse and Discord, which would be useful for gamers).
All my hardware worked, which is a surprise considering on previous laptops I'd used, there were a lot of problems with black screens and driver issues (although this was a few years back with the new AMD APUs). Visual Studio Code makes it easy to do any coding I need, and is quite handy because it's the same software we use on College's Windows computers. Google Docs works very well in Firefox, making it easy to write assignments.
Compared to all the other desktop environments which I've tried out (Unity, Cinnamon and whatever Crunchbang used a few years ago), MATE has been the easiest for me to use and tweak to perfection, so thanks to everyone who contributed to this great distro.
tl;dr: I got an HP Stream 14, a cheap laptop with 4GB of RAM and a Dual-Core 64 Bit CPU, and it runs incredibly with this distro, unlike the preinstalled "Windows 10 S" that didn't have enough space to update and didn't even let me download programs from outside the Microsoft Store. My only suggestion so far would be adding Discord and Eclipse to the software boutique (if that's possible).