12 years of IT experience
There is no such thing as a "low end" laptop. Technology has reached the point where any brand should be considered at least mid range. However, laptops can be specific to your needs. My advice is to set a hard price point. Then look at laptops within 50 dollars of it. If you set a minimum of about 300 dollars you are guaranteed to get a laptop that is more than capable of everyday browsing or light business use. You should have no problems with the hardware, i.e. laptop itself. The problem can be matching the OS to your laptops capabilities. For example, Apple computers, and Chrome books use a relatively small amount of resources. They can operate fairly well on a 1.6 and above processor and 4gb of ram (in some cases even less than that). However, Windows computers use a LOT of resources. This is what bogs down the processor, and hogs all the ram. This is what you, the user, sees as crashes and computer acting slow. Thus making a decent Windows 8 computer requiring atleast a 2.0 dual core with 6gb of ram.
All computers nowadays come with plenty of unnecessary programs, this also slows down the computer or causes it to crash. Moving your laptop around too much or too violently (like what happens when laptops are placed in laps, lol) causes errors to build up in the harddrive. Enough of these errors will also lead to crashes and eventually your laptop wont work anymore. Remember to always update your software when necessary, get a good antivirus Norton and Mccafee are good. (never any of those antiviruses that send popups to your computer, NONE of those are any good. No matter what they say.) Keep your laptop on a hard non-porous surface when in use.
My recommendation for you would probably be a chromebook depending on your price range. 400 is a reasonable range for most non specific consumers. If you are looking north of 800 bucks you can pretty much pick anyone and it will do way more than you will ever need. And good gaming/graphic design etc starts north of 1600.
note: personally I stay away from HP computers. The design of their laptop places the fan in a position where the intake opening is on the bottom. This causes the computer to heat up often unless placed on the perfect surface. My personal favorite brand for a combo of value and price is Toshiba. However, My price range is always 800 to 1000, no more no less and I am very specific in the components that go in to it. I hope this helps.