I've used Ubuntu on my laptop as well as 4 desktops for years. There is nothing special about loading it on a laptop. First thing is go to the Ubuntu download site and download the latest OS (12.10) in either 32 or 64 bit format. It will be a (large) .iso file. Then burn the iso image onto a blank DVD. At this point, Ubuntu refers to it as a Live CD/DVD.
Insert the DVD and boot. It will take some time, but when it boots up you'll have a working Ubuntu OS. At this point, you can use it and experiment around without changing what's currently on your hard drive, be it Windows or something else. If you want to install it, you'll have the choice of overwriting what's on the hard drive or installing it on a different drive or partition. When that's done and you reboot, you'll be presented with a menu (called grub of all thing, on the master boot record, aka MBR) that allows you to choose which OS you want to boot to, windows or ubuntu.