I would suggest installing something like VirtualBox on Windows and try FreeBSD in there first. That way you can get a good feel for the OS without having to sacrifice your existing Windows installation.
Buy a fresh hard disk drive and swap it for the existing one. They're not that expensive, you can test that FreeBSD is compatible with your actual hardware and reverting is simply a matter of swapping it back.
If you have reasonable network connectivity, then you can "rent" a FreeBSD instance from cloud providers such as Google, Amazon or Microsoft. I know that at least Amazon and Google have ready to go FreeBSD installations. And both have a "try before you buy" and a "amateur minimal usage" program that will make it free. Like this, you don't have to bother learning how to install a virtual machine on your laptop.
you may actually want to install to a usb key and run it off there.. then check the dmesg and pci hardware to make sure everything is working properly .. things like wifi cards or other mutli purpose devices in laptops may not actually work ...
I would defiantly check out the laptop compatibility chart before doing anything at all.