An affordable notebook for a student?

Hey folks. I'd be ever so grateful if anybody could make some recommendations for a decent, affordable notebook for somebody in college.

Here's the thing. My mom is in school. She had a Dell Inspiron, about two years old. About two days into this new semester, while on the phone with Pearson tech support actually, she went to turn it back on and it did the infamous Dell 7 beep routine. Won't boot at all. There's a chance of getting fixed, maybe. We have to look into it, but its not certain and I'd rather her have a reliable PC anyway. This is the second dell in my family to do that this year. My sister's did it a few months back. Reading online this is a common problem with inspirons, at least of some models, when they're about two years old. Doesn't seem like Dell has done much to address it ever. I know the beep is a diagnostic code and based on that I believe it's processor related, but I'm getting off track.

basically, I am wondering what's out in the market for reasonably affordable notebooks. She doesn't need anything fancy. Just something for browsing the web, email, Microsoft office and storing her pictures. She has photoshop but I don't think she'll use it much, though if something is of a good enough price that can run that alright too, that's a plus. Any ideas? Thanks.