The Dell is a smaller unit overall with an 8" screen. It has a slot for a SD device for additional storage capacity, like up to 64 or 128GB storage (somewhat like having more hard disk storage). The Dell only has one USB port and that is also used for charging the battery. Great long lasting battery life, like 10 hours, which is similar to the Windows Surface. Neither will have a CD drive, you can easily use cloud storage for this, just a tad slower. There probably is/will be a full sized keyboard, but I find the on-screen keyboard just as useful for what I use it for. My use is that I develop some data management software systems on it, but by having the windows operating system I do the heads down work on my desktop and transfer it to the tablet to see how it will operate there, then tweak it of course.
Other manufacturers who are now making tablets which have the Windows 8 operating systems loaded on them are: Toshiba, Asus, Dell has the Venture 8 and 11, HP Omni, HP Split X2, Lenovo Miix, Nokia Lumia, Samsung ATIV, and there might be some others; all with different features, and of course price points.
It will work great for your daughter (if she will be able to pry it out of your husband's hands). I know what you mean by finishing up early, my one son finished up his undergraduate work a year and a half early and now has his doctorate (DVM) without any intervening degrees (and his dad was very happy, especially since he had two other siblings in college at the same time).
By all means make certain that she understands that things not tied down there tend to grow legs and disappear. But this is small enough that she will be able to keep it in her backpack wherever she goes, and weighing in at 2 lbs she will hardly notice it in the backpack; and it would probably help if she had a lock on the backpack where it is kept.
Edited: 3:00 pm, January 31, 2014