Okay, firstly, I always install Mint on customers' machines without issue. It is far superior to Ubuntu with UX and stability, especially for Winblows users. But if you have issues, consider the below points.
Debian, grandfather of Mint, father of Ubuntu has a "firmware-blahblah.iso" which smoothly autodetects hardware and installs accordingly. I never have Realtek/RTL issues. Ever. And that is notwhithstanding Debian's out-of-datedness. I would say Mint's LiveCD probably just doesn't have the drivers on-disc.
If you want Out-of-the-Box, "just works" then Manjaro is the best of the best. Great support and detection of hardware, choice of official/closed or OSS drivers wherever possible. Handles updates automatically, but allows you to defer them as long as possible. Exceedingly friendly for Winblows users. More stable than its parent, Arch, but still offers very new software. Since it descends from Arch which has the biggest selection of software if you count the AUR, there's a lot of choice. Basically, if you have hardware issues, I recommend Manjaro above all. For such a robust distro, it's quite light weight and snappy. It also provides you with a help menu when logging in.
Zorin OS is a god-awful pile of steaming shite. Sorry, but it sucked back in the day when I tested it and IDK if it was still maintained these days since I heard it failed going commercial and faded back into the abyss it belonged in.
That all out the way, Debian-based systems like Mint (and Mint Debian Edition -- built straight off Debian instead of Ubuntu), can use later kernels. For example, when Debian 8 was the latest (aka "stable") version of Debian a few years back when I had just got a new notebook. I had some hardware issues. Using backports and a newer kernel fixed this (pity it didn't fix Debian 8 generally being inferior to the usual Debian and tempting me to change to Debian "testing").
So, in a nutshell, you'll probably be fine with Mint and the latest possible kernel, but if you want the best support and a more gamer-centric distro, Manjaro is for you.
Hope that helps.