High performance and long days do not mix.
Try this. Look at those i5 and i7 based Ultrabooks.
1. What is your budget? Preferably under $800
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 15.6 inch would be best, but I can go a little bigger or a little smaller.
3. What screen resolution do you want? Whatever is standard. As long as things don't look like crap.
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Desktop replacement. I need to be able to do some heavy-duty computation and programming.
5. How much battery life do you need? Enough to last through a day of classes.
6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? It would definitely be a benefit. Being able to play games like WoW and LoL on medium/high settings is fine.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? Like I said, mostly computation and programming with the option for gaming. Obviously word processing and web-surfing are also important.
8. How much storage do you need? 500GB+
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Anybody that ships to the US. I was very disappointed to find out that Future Shop doesn't.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? As long as it takes me to finish my undergrad degree. About four years.
11. What kind of optical drive do you need? DVD writer is enough.
12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. Anything with decent build quality.
13. What country do you live in? US of A
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. A backlit keyboard would be nice. The most important things are RAM and processor speed, though. Graphics are a side concern.