A LapTop is perfect except you won't find one below $$700.00..
I like the ACER design..
You can't do DVD-movies on a LapTop..but JPGS/yes..on CD..
..a good DeskTop..
DELL is really pretty good..but from your POST I would suggest you don't get a B110/1100 series..take it a step higher..
I think DELL has a $$450.00 model..
Then I saw a LENOVO today at C/Net..for $$758.00..a great machine..
I think its way past just a Start-Up PC..CPU like 3.06..512MB's RAM..seems to have a CD-ROM only..but the USB 2.0 should handle an external DVD-Combo Burner drive..
DELL and LENOVO seem to have my attention.
Can anyone recommend a good desktop for my mother who will probably only use it to check email, surf web and download lots of pics from her camara? Thanks