It would help if we knew a bit more about where and how the PC will be used. You say that it needs to be a small laptop or netbook, is that because portability is an issue? Will she be moving it around a lot so that weight is important? Will she be working in areas where mains power is limited or intermittent so that battery life is an issue? You mention network activity, will the laptop be connected wirelessly or via an ethernet cable? Is cost an issue, if so what is her budget?
Any of these factors will affect recommendations for both software and hardware.