would a chromebook be good for a 4th grader to use for remote school? better than an ipad right?
Yes. Our public gives them to every student. They’re great. My five and seven year old have them, do a fourth grader should be more than fine.
does anyone have a specific model to recommend?
They are great with the caveat that IF his school uses the annotate feature in zoom, it doesn't work on a chromebook. My 3rd grader's math class used that feature a lot in the spring and I had to give him my laptop to use for math class. Every other feature was absolutely fine and brilliant on the chromebook. I am a HUGE fan of chromebooks, but find that out first. Our family has both a Samsung and an HP chromebook and both are great.
I recommend Lenovo, not Samsung or Acer. Experience with all 3. Lenovo works best on the Google Classroom stuff.