Can I suggest using VirtualBox - click here Using Windows 10 or 7, whichever you boot into most, set up VirtualBox and then install XP as a virtual PC. You will be able to connect hardware as needed for XP once running.
You will also be able to install Linux as a virtual PC so you can have a look, without having to reboot the PC.
And yes your Acer will be able to run Linux.
Personally I would use VirtualBox to try different Distros, versions, of Linux until you find one you like. I run PCLinuxOS with a K desktop environment. Linux Mint and Ubuntu are very poular.