I think you should nail down their budget. And find out what this notebook will be used for. If for traveling, a smaller, lighter 15in notebook with long battery life may make sense. But if just for lugging from room to room around the house, they (like me) may prefer a larger 17" screen.
I recommend at least 512GB disk space. 256GB can be eaten up surprisingly fast especially if they install larger apps (like MS Office), games, or family photos on it.
I would stick with HP or Dell, ASUS or even Acer. Not Lenovo.
Lenovo makes some good machines - NOT disputing that. But their repeated
history of installing malware and spyware on their computers makes me (and several world governments!) avoid them like the plague.
It is not about quality - it is about principle and security.
Again, they make some good products, but the Chinese company (and their Chinese government overseers) cannot be trusted! Lenovo has a long history (since buying out IBM's PC business in 2005) of shipping computers with malware and spying on customers
. The "Superfish" scandal in February 2015 is a huge example. And they admitted it!
But note they said they stopped, not because it presented a security risk to its customers, but due to some browser pop-up behavior!
Lenovo products have been banned from sensitive UK, Australia, NZ, Canada and US government agencies
May 2015, BBC News, Lenovo: researchers find 'massive security risk'
And, despite their claims to stop, they keep at it! August 2015, The Guardian, Lenovo does it again
December 2015, Fortune.com, Another Huge Security Hole Has Been Discovered on Lenovo Computers
May 2016, MakeUseOf.com, 4 Security Reasons That Explain Why you Should Avoid Lenovo PCs
Since the Chinese government has no qualms conducting cyber-warfare on democratic, free societies, or their private citizens, I recommend sending Lenovo a message that we consumers will not tolerate (or reward through purchases) their malicious behavior and urge consumers to avoid Lenovo products.
Even IF Lenovo management and executives are not active participants in all these repeat malicious activities, the fact it keeps happening over and over again (and with new code too) is a clear indication they are not doing much, if anything, to prevent it from happening again and again! Whether it is because they are lining their greedy pockets, or it is through intimidation and coercion by the corrupt and hostile Chinese government, or both, Lenovo computers cannot be "trusted".
Again, I am not disputing the quality of their products
. The problem is, the company behind them have demonstrated over and over again
, they take an active role in malicious activity against their customers.
If you value your friends security, and they are trusting you to help keep them safe and secure, the choice seems obvious to me - any brand but Lenovo.