Originally Posted by unboggling
Larger displays are nice, I agree. As a cash-limited student my niece will probably make do without one. If she needs one she can always buy it later. Though the Apple displays are high resolution and thus expensive, and I'm not sure how well other manufacturer's displays (probably cheaper but lower resolution) would work with screen output from a Mac. I haven't ever researched that.
Apples displays are not of a higher resolution than the competition, apart from the new retina Macbook pro of course. You are paying for built quality, design and Apple research/branding.
Any screen will work fine with a Mac.
When that is said, the OP should probably ask the niece if she prefers Windows over OS X on the Mac. It is quite different to use, and most people that have tried both have their own preference. For simple uses as hers, I personally would recommend OS X, but let her choose her OS before the machine.