Here some specifications why I think Mageia is good for newbie (or everyone):
1) Mageia is currently not the most popular distro as its ancestor Mandrake, but still a popular distro, that is most softwares support Mageia.
2) Easy configuration tools, installations (if not the easiest). Some of critical parts of the configuration tools have ncurse-based/CLI versions, so, such as, you could configure the drivers in the text-mode when bad things happen.
3) Good hardwares support (I haven't had any problem with Mandrake/Mageia when installing/run live-cd).
4) Stability, once I get Mageia running, I don't have any problem at all.
Other things that I love Mageia:
Wide range of running/installation options (live media, light/full...), has good support both GNOME and KDE.