imho… Fedora has the best driver support out of the box because they include the freedesktop.org drivers that aren’t in the Kernel. I don’t know if PopOS or Manjaro have those built in. It wont fix your wifi issue though (see below)
That’s very normal for Linux, almost all wifi cards require proprietary software that needs to be installed manually. If you want to make your installation life vastly easier you could buy a USB to 10/100 Network adapter and plug into your router or get a FOSS wifi device as either USB or a replacement card.
There’s a list of FOSS hardware sites here: Resources for finding & buying Linux/BSD FOSS compatible hardware
Wikipedia has a great page on wireless compatibility by chipset: Comparison of open-source wireless drivers - Wikipedia
Small list of some FOSS wifi devices here: wifi - h-node.org
I haven’t had experience with any of them (yet) but they should be Linux plug n’ play.
The area of the harddrive that contains Linux (the partition) will usually be in EXT4 format or something else that Windows can’t read.
You can read EXT4 on Windows 10 but you need 3rd party software to do it. If you’re security conscious or worried about losing data I wouldn’t recommend this.
I strongly recommend running Linux from a separate drive. Windows is known for borking dual boot systems during updates and it’s not great for security especially with Secure Boot off and if you’re not using Full Disk Encryption.
You can remove the Windows drive and replace it with a Linux one. That way if you need to sell the laptop you just swap them back.
If you still want to run Windows, you can buy an external drive and run Linux from USB. Preferably 3.0 or Type-C for a pretty good experience.