You could just change the GUI of your linux build to a different desktop. It only takes a few commands in the terminal and a good internet connection.
Look here at this post to upgrade your kernels if you want I got in the forums here. viewtopic.php?f=42&t=124819
Then after you upgrade your kernels, you can then change over your desktop enviroment(DE). Say you want to look over cinnamon, which is a DE of linux mint.
1. Open a terminal window.
2. Type in the following commands then hit Enter after each.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon
This way you can take a look over the DE without installing the WHOLE linux distro, unless of course you want to. The only difference between linux mint and ubuntu are a few package managers; like linux mint uses the synaptic manager, for upgrades, the "nautilus" file manager, or NEMO on cinnamon DE, which also uses that file manager to draw your desktop. Thats about it. Fonts are slightly different between Ubuntu and Mint. This way you can "remix' the linux build you got on your computer already and save your data and other files.
To apply nemo just run,
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sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install nemo
Hope that helps you.