not2easy - 9:03 pm on Nov 23, 2012 (gmt 0)
The iPad would be my choice, it includes a free Kindle for Mac that is one of the few intuitive readers that does what you want. The text can be enlarged to any level and the backlit brightness is adjustable, the B&W contrast controls accommodate nearly infinite grey levels.
I would not put a PC in the hands of a newb of any age without training. Too many pitfalls on the internet to expect safe surfing without knowing the proper settings and security for anyone. I used PCs for about 20 years before going back to Mac. I still use both. The idea that you can't open and service a Mac yourself is just not true. I replaced a hard drive in my IMac and I'm a retired lady. I helped my guy replace the drive in his Macbook Pro, too. Having the Apple Store so nearby would cinch it for me if I were making the recommendation.