My kid trashed the keyboard on my wife’s laptop, so it’s apparently gonna be his and we need a new one for her.
What she had was definitely overkill and was chosen strictly because it’s what I have and I wanted to avoid the “why do you have…” questions. About 90%+ of what she uses it for is web browsing and gmail. Things being what they are, another 5% is web conferences. Pretty much the rest is straight-forward Word. I don’t foresee that changing any time soon.
OK, so I’m thinking her needs are really just 15" screen and as good a feeling keyboard as she can get for as cheaply as she can get it. She doesn’t have a touchscreen and I don’t think she currently misses it. I’m guessing she might be averse to non-Windows just because nothing will be labelled “Word” and “why doesn’t my computer have …”.
Find a used Lenovo T540p. Add an SSD drive and bump it to 8+ gigs of ram. That gives you a 15" screen and one of the best keyboards there is on a laptop. Probably for the neighbourhood of $300-$400. They’re the volvo of laptops.
If they use it for a desktop, you can get a docking station that lets you add an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Sounds like a Chromebook would work just fine. Most are under $300.
My personal laptop is getting long in the tooth. I’ve been experimenting off and on, and have reached the conclusion that I don’t need much beyond a web-sufring appliance plus something that can run Citrix Receiver, an RDP client, etc. I don’t need portable horsepower; I just need the ability to connect to a work or personal machine that has horsepower.
Although I wouldn’t discount the possibility of a cheap, streamlined Windows laptop, I’ll probably end up with a Chromebook of some sort.