I don't think a server-intended HIDS system (like OSSEC) is a good option for a laptop or other general purpose computer. Servers in today's age are very specialized and regimented and a HIDS depends on this. It knows where files should and should not be created or modified, what processes should and shouldn't be running. Essentially, there is a white list of allowable things that happen on the computer and anything outside that list is an alert.
The term for personal computer protection is 'endpoint protection' and includes things like traditional anti-virus. They use blacklisting, primarily - known signatures, known bad behaviours. It is a much harder problem on an endpoint, since users want to run arbitrary programs and do arbitrary things - how do you tell the difference between an installer the user wants to run and one that is accidentally run from an attachment in email? Between a compiler and a self-modifying virus? Lots of issues there.
Running HIDS on a personal computer is just going to be annoying - give it a try on one of the many low-cost/cheap linux hosts out there.