I'm rather well versed in desktops but not laptops. Still, i'm gonna say that this is a common trait in both in that Celerons are simply NOT worth it. Most ppl would be better served in getting a low end Pentium 4 (for desktops) than use a Celeron, even if they use PCs for just the basics like word processing, surfing, and photo viewing. Celerons are really for businesses that wanna save $$. For a home user, an extra $50 to $200 isn't much to get a Pentium 4 or Pentium 3/4 M processor for laptops, but businesses have to buy computers for up to hundreds and even thousands of employees, so the savings do add up in the latter case.
256MB used to be the 'norm' for basic winXP users. Lately, it has gone up to 512MB, so I'd say have at least that much.
Going back to your first post, 256MB would actually be sufficient for..... ''Would be used for surfing, email, MS Word, etc'', but 512MB oughtta allow for better performance and more windows/applications running at once. 1GB seems kinda over kill for just those uses mentioned above. If she plans to go more into more heavier tasks (perhaps database apps, mp3 encoding) or medium resource hogging games, 1GB would be a better investment
1GB is the new minimum RAM for gamers, with some gamers going up to 2GB+.
I'm not sure on the prices to upgrade to 1GB of RAM, but if your new notebook lets you add RAM yourself and has the extra memory slot(s) for it, you can visit www.crucial.com and see how much RAM costs if you bought it and installed it yourself. Installing your own system RAM is usually cheaper than having it factory installed. Crucial.com has pull down menus. Just find your make and model of laptop there once you know what it is and see what capacity RAM sticks are available and at what prices. There are also FAQs and other resources to any other questions you may have about RAM, laptops, and how to add the RAM to a laptop.
Widescreen seems to be the rage these days. Movies and games that support this look nicer. I can see Word and Surfing looking nicer on laptop screens as well. Since they tend to be smaller than desktop monitors, the extra space in widescreen for laptops can make a nice difference.
As far as quality goes, there's stuff like UGA WXGA(?), and frankly, I can't remember if these refer to the screens resolution or the screens brightness/color saturation/angle viewability, but keep in mind the nicer down the line, it's gonna be more expensive of course. Try doing some research on these screen types for more details. Then consider walking into retail stores like Staples or Sams Club and see if you can view these screen types side by side for comparisons.
And yeah, I would recommend going into a store and ''trying out'' laptops in person. You can see how well the screen looks, how the keyboard feels, how cheap or well the construction is, and how heavy it feels (if it isn't tethered down by anti-theft devices).
110 lbs!? <whistling>..... Anyways, I can't recommend a particular Thinkpad, but keep in mind laptops are ultraportable and as light as 3lbs, to powerful full desktop replacements as heavy as 13lbs. For all the features you want, 5 to 7 lbs may be a good compromise, altho everyone has their own capabilities of handling heavy objects. It also boils down to having built-in wifi, drives, swappable drives, etc.
Don't know much about thinkpad specifics, so can't answer this.
Hope this helps. Good luck and try to let us know what u end up getting!