I would like to construct a desktop-like solution for someone who is not terribly computer-savvy by allowing her 2011 MBAir to connect to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I've looked at various docking stations, but none of them appear to power the computer itself (at least I haven't found one), which means it would separately have to be connected to external power (note: this is a Thunderbolt 2 computer). So I've been thinking about just doing this without a docking station, since it isn't obvious that a docking station would make for less work.
The idea would be to just buy a monitor, bluetooth keyboard and bluetooth mouse. Is it the case that once all of these are configured, my wife could just walk up to the desk, plug in the monitor (and computer power if desired), and start to use the external devices for input? If so, can the laptop be closed during that time?