Profile of user:
Moderate Internet use.
Watches videos - like Youtube, not necessarily DVDs.
Moderate to heavy email use
Moderate to heavy Word use.
Not opposed to laptop but has no wireless hub.
Has a cat.
I was surprised that i could get a pretty robust (hardware wise) machine from HP for under $500.
Dell came in around 600 for a similar configuration. I was vaguely considering a Mac mini but Fox says that would be a pain to teach her a Mac.
She's not going to be rough on it at all. I was thinking I'd have her install AVG which should protect her from any random content she may download, which wouldn't be much.