So, when her laptop came to an untimely death (as if there is timely death for a computer), we had a heart to heart.
The solution was to go with a light weight "nettop" for her desk.
Specifically, she now has an Acer Aspire Revo. It’s the entry level model. (I blogged about using the next level up as my media center). Both of these are tiny by traditional PC standards. Really, truly! – less that 8" square and less than 2" thick. Rather than take up desk space, I just stuck it to the back on the monitor. It dramatically simplified the cables and wires and stuff.
These days she only needs to get to Gmail, Google Reader, Google Apps, Google Calendar, Google tasks, online banking, Facebook, … see a trend? In the past she also had some games. Now, everything is out on the web "in the cloud" as they say. Even more to the point, everything she does can also be done from the iPhone. The advantage to the combination is that everything stays in sync – EFORTLESSLY. If she reads an email on the iPhone, it does not show up as a new email on the computer. Even better, if she adds an appointment on the iPhone, it shows up in her Google Calendar.
To be honest, I’m a bit jealous. About 70% of my work could go out on the web but that would violate "company policy".