A few things to consider:
1) Get a laptop with an SSD or swap out the hdd for an SSD, then add an external hdd (or 2.5" external enclosure if swapping) if she needs more space. 120-180 GB SSD should be sufficient, 256GB would give more flexibility if the budget allows.
2) Get a computer with a SSD cache drive.
3) Get an optical drive bay adapter
to convert the ODD to a hdd bay. Put the SSD where the hdd was and the hdd goes in the optical bay. (oftentimes the optical bay wont have as fast of a SATA interface as the hdd bay.) It's a very simple changeout to do. If she really needs an optical drive, get an external one.
These alternatives would open up MANY more laptop options to you.
Also, consider waiting until closer to September to get an Intel Haswell processor. They will bring improved IGP and battery life.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Seagate SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Crosley D-25 Case Mod