Myra in post #18 mentioned battery life. Although I would be very frustrated, with the limitations of a Chromebook, if it can do what the user needs to do, I believe the battery life each day will be hours longer, than with any laptop. Especially not an inexpensive or lightweight laptop. I would investigate the needs of the student and then see whether or not a Chromebook is capable of that.
DD has had her own computers for years. Linux and Windows. She has 2 Dell Enterprise Laptops. The newer, more powerful one is a Latitude E6410 like I'm using to write this. I bought it "Used/Incomplete" from a very reputable eBay Seller in PA. I think these were produced in approximately 2010 but don't remember.
The older one, her backup laptop, is a Dell Latitude E6400. Older (2008?) and much slower, older technology. I have one of those for my Backup laptop also.
DD has the last Desktop PC we ordered new from Dell Latin America. It is not an Enterprise grade machine. It is a Consumer grade machine, but it has served well. We ordered that during October 2012 and it was delivered during November 2012. My wife had been using that one, but it is now in the area where DD studies and the Printer is connected to it.
So, in the area DD studies in, there are 3 Windows boxes available to her, plus her Tablet, plus her Android phone.
The older Enterprise grade Dell laptops that we have in the house are too heavy for DIL to carry around in her backpack all day when she works and then take to school at night. When she began going to school at night, my wife bought her a low end ACER mini laptop. It has Windows 10. I believe the display is about 12". It has served well. I would probably look at something like that, and not a Chromebook, if I had to have something light and carry it around in a backpack all day...
You can do A LOT more on a laptop than you can do on a Chromebook. I've never used a Chromebook, but I have read about them, here on WTM and on computer web sites.
DD has a Huawei Tablet. I don't think she uses it much, but we got it free from our ISP, so that's not a problem.
My stepson's company gave him a Lenovo Phablet a few months ago. Too big for a man to put in a pocket of their pants, but women have purses. For making phone calls, I think it would be uncomfortable, to hold something that big up to my ear, for more than a couple of minutes.
There are different ways you can do this. I would first determine the needs and then go from there. Good luck!