Just say no to the chromebook !If I have a friend who lives on limited pension, does only email, web surf, listen & watch media ... I would recommend a Chromebook.
With Extensions the old Chromebooks can do a lot.
With Crostini, Android apps, the new ones can do a lot more.
Beside a Raspberry I don't see anything more economical than an x86 Chromebook.
Shopping around for the better ones is a little bit difficult.
The average non-tech savvy and same time low income person normally does not go beyond an iOS / android. I've seen many many people that have just one android / iOS phone.