The short answer - yes, hardware may be to blame for some, most, or all of these problems.
However, it's not necessarily the hardware that's the issue. For example, your "blue faces" thing isn't a hardware issue, nor is it even an "Ubuntu" issue, but a bug in the Flash player software. Your "video in video" thing would really need a screenshot for anyone to be able to help with (why can't you screen shot it?).
Additionally, the sleep function may be an issue with the kernel version (there's a known bug in the 3.2 version of the Linux Kernel that can cause issues such as what you're seeing). Or, it may be an issue with the driver for your particular video card model. Or, your video card itself may be going bad (which could also explain things like Flash issues).
Or, your motherboard could be going bad (which could explain pretty much all of your issues).
In general, figuring out whether it's hardware or software depends entirely on your setup, and doesn't really matter whether it's a laptop or desktop (other than that you're more limited on your hardware selection with a laptop). For example, are you dual-booting with Windows? If so, then that may be why you can't boot into Ubuntu (I've seen an issue where Windows and Linux don't agree about the exact date/time, and when Windows is running fast, Linux sees disk writes as "in the future" and freaks out). Conversely, if you do dual-boot, and Chrome/Chromium takes forever to load on both partitions, then it may be a hardware issue (since it's on program load, it's most likely a lack of memory, but it could also be that your hard drive is going bad).
If you're looking for actionable help on any of the issues that you're having, you're going to have to provide quite a bit more information. What are your hardware specs (and/or what is your laptop model)? Are you dual-booting with another OS? If so, what's the other version of the OS (ie - Mac OS 10.5, Windows XP, Windows 7 64-bit, etc)? Is your Ubuntu a fresh install (vs an upgrade from an older version of Ubuntu)? Is it an install from WUBI (vs an install via booting to the disk)? What version of Ubuntu are you on? How do your specs compare to your friend's? What did you do prior to trying to boot into Ubuntu (and/or, what did you do before you last shut down Ubuntu)?