Ok to answer your original post. If I understaand you correctly, Your going to purchase a new laptop and then want to install Linux Mint. Right?
Ok; just boot the laptop with the live CD, click the install icon on the desktop. When you get to partitioning, your choices are, #1 use the whole drive = which will wipe out the factory install of windoz, #2 use empty space = which will install linux and windoz as co-operating systems, #3 manual = which is what I do but is harder. You must know what your doing.
Mind you they might not be labeled that way but those are your choices.
If your like me, and want King Billy gone altogether, choice "use the whole drive" Mint will then repartition building your swap partition and all for you, but you won't have windoze any more.
If you want windows there for a maybe day such as this laptop I'm using now, choose the use "empty space" once again mint will do it for you, resizing your windows partition, building your linux partitions, encluding swap and you'll have a dual booting system. Linux and Windows!
The manual partioning is for when you want to do other exotic things. Such as triple boot, or have special partition for other projects and so on. But all linux systems should build a swap using the auto method. I only had one install that didn't.
I hope that answers your questions.
As a further note. Most new laptops come with such big drives, and knowing linux users as I do. I'd sudjest using the manual method, especially if your planning on wiping King Billy off the map. (Using the whole drive). My reason is. I'm not sure about Linux Mint, but most of these distros install /home on the same partition as /(root). And when it comes time for a reinstall that creates a problem. You ether got to backup or lose data, maybe both.
For example lets say your new laptop comes with a 80gb drive. The "use whole drive" option normally will give you a swap partion double your memory size. Say 2gb. Then the rest will be /(root). Which is fine, except when you need to reinstall all your data is on that partition, and it will be formatted. Where as if you build your own manually, you can build a swap of 2gb and a /(root) of 20gb, (there is no real need for more space in your case), then use the remainder for /home. Which gives you the protection of when the day comes to reinstall, (and that day will come believe me, not from need but rather from want), your data will be seperate from the system. And won't get reformated. it just makes life easier.