Last year I'd tried the Ubuntu 5.10 Live CD on a low spec machine - PII 350 with 128 MB RAM - and had been less than impressed. On a whim, just tried it on the Acer laptop
and so on ) and was favourably impressed. Display correctly set to 1280 x 800, and apparently full ACPI support - battery monitor shown on panel. Mandriva did not have any of these.