Recommendation for HTPC Linux distro

I've been using XBMC for a few years now and really love it. I currently use it on a windows 8 PC, but have recently been given a few older Acer Netbooks, which i am hoping to set up XBMC/KODI on.
The netbooks are the Acer Aspire 1810 and 1830. I thought that I would give linux a try this time around, because I have found windows 8 to be pretty sluggish on i'm looking for some recommendation on which linux distros would be best suited for this task.

Here is a list of the requirements that I have thought of so far.
  • Be able to easily install XBMC/KODI on
  • Be able to install Google Chrome on - For Netflix playback
  • Be able to install some game console emulators
  • Friendly to users with not tons of linux experience

So far I've tried openELEC, but I couldn't find a way to install chrome or emulators. It's nice and fast which is nice, but a bit too slimmed down.
I've also tried XBMCbuntu, but when i tried to update XBMC to KODI RC1 or install Chrome it said their where missing dependencies, so i think i'd like something a little friendlier for people that don't have alot of linux experience. As an example when i tried Ubuntu a bit ago i was able to install Chrome without any issues and the "Software store" was really nice.

I do have a bit of linux experience but not tons...with that said i'm no stranger to using command's just most of it has been in windows and powershell.

I have heard some decent things about elementaryOS, XUbuntu and Linux Mint

Any recommendations or tips would be greatly appreciated.

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Recommendation for HTPC Linux distro - by jrbilodeau - 2014-12-02, 21:39

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