I guess that she will be carrying the laptop very often since she pick the tiny ones, right? In that case, if she has to use DVD drive every day, then buying a laptop with the drive built in will make more sense. There are also small screen laptop with built in optical drive. Take a look at Sony if she really cares about the looks and weight.
My sister is considering to buy a small laptop that is portable and can easily by carried around for work, and right now she has set her eyes on a 12-inch laptop. One problem is, the 12-inch laptop came with an external DVD+RW Drive, which she fears will break down more quickly than an internal one. So she is considering her options now between a 12-inch laptop or a 14-inch laptop with an internal DVD+RW Drive.
So, what is the fact about this? Do external drives always tend to break down more quickly than internal ones? What are the plus and minuses of each one? What things should be considered in choosing between to use an internal drive or an external one? What things must be done to ensure the life expectancy of both drives (the do and don't)?