Then it sounds as if you are looking for a Pre-Windows 8 laptop, or in other words one with Windows 7.
Since the monitor would be a non touchscreen model. Or if you think they could use the mouse and a touchscreen equipped laptop and not get confused by having to use the laptop touchscreen with a external monitor then a Windows 8 model.
Since the monitor has VGA and DVI it would appear that they could use a laptop that has either VGA, DVI or HDMI output for the external monitor. For HDMI output you should be able to buy and use a DVI to HDMI cable.
In general a desktop would outperform a laptop for the same money. Laptops are easier to steal and are easier to damage.
I hate to think how many laptops I've seen in recent years that were ruined by liquid spilled into the keyboard or by being dropped.
You might also suggest a Touchscreen equipped All in One computer. One power wire, wireless keyboard and mouse and Internet.
Edited by rotor123, 04 January 2013 - 01:42 PM.