The most common question I receive is what device should I buy for home usage. This is a wonderful time to live in when it comes to the options you have when looking at devices. It is a more straightforward process then you would expect to narrow down your options.
The first question I always when asked about what device someone should purchase is what are you planning to do with it. This is the first question you need to ask yourself when you start the process. Most people purchase way more computer than they need or buy something that has the potential to do a lot but has horrendous specs that it struggles to even do the basics or does not last long and ages out. Most people will be choosing between Windows, macOS, iOS, or Chrome OS. Linux is another great option but is more of a black diamond usually saved for the more knowledgeable techies. If you answer the question by saying checking email, browsing Facebook, shopping, creating basic documents/spreadsheets/presentations and watching Netflix then your choice becomes very easy, Chrome OS (Chromebook) or iOS (iPad) are your two choices. I am not going to try and sway you one way or the other as both options are very solid and will last you a long time.
Chromebooks and iPads will run you between $300-1000 depending on what you want and your price range. The most significant difference between the two options is the keyboard. You can have a proper keyboard with an iPad but if you plan to do a lot of typing it is something else to think about as Chromebooks come with a keyboard as they are modeled after a traditional laptop. Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, if you have used the Chrome web browser before a Chromebook is exactly like always being in a web browser. You can install apps from the Chrome Web Store and on newer touchscreen versions you can also install apps from the Google Play Store which makes them quite powerful. iPads run on iOS and utilize the Apple App Store. If you tend to have Apple devices in your home or family I would suggest going in that direction but if you have no preference I would find a local Best Buy or possibly a Walmart or other big box store to see if you can try out both devices. You can expect to pay between $300-400 for either option and it would get you more then enough and if you would like some additional features the prices can go higher. I would expect at least four years out of the device and if you take good care of it I have seen iPads and Chromebooks go longer, a great investment at that price point and will do everything you need if you answered the question similar to what I stated above. Suggested brands I would look at of Chromebooks is Google Pixelbook (expensive but nice), HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Acer are the big brands in the Chromebook world and lots of options within each brand.
If the answer to the initial question I asked is a higher end task like video, audio, photo editing, or you need to use special software then you will need a more traditional laptop. This is where your preference comes into play as your two choices are Windows or Apple. There are plenty of good options on both sides but if you use special software then you need to find out what it requires. I do a lot of photo, video, and audio editing and if you have read any of my other posts you know I prefer the Apple ecosystem but that is my preference. Lenovo, Dell, and HP all make wonderful Windows laptops, just make sure you get the specs you need for the programs you use.
In my experience, most people do not need anything outside of an iPad or a Chromebook and if either of those will fit what you need you will save yourself from a lot of annoyances. Chromebooks and iPads do not need anti-virus and setting them up is a breeze. If you decide on a MacBook from Apple or a Windows device you will be required to do a little more to keep them safe and protected. The one nice thing if you go with a MacBook or a Windows device they are much better at keeping themselves updated which is your number one defense against your computer being compromised.
After reading through this post you can see there are a lot of great options out there depending on your need. Do not let someone talk you into something you do not need. If you have any questions on devices you are looking at feel free to leave them in the comments below.