All units will play card games so I'm going with you are staying true with no 3D gaming.
Whoops, you listed Minecraft so you can ditch that casual gaming and battery times. Try this one.
http://www.neweggbusiness.com/Product/Product.aspx?gclid=cnet&Item=9B-34-313-719 is $499 today.
So I'm going to university in a few months and need a portable computer. I have dedicated gaming PC at home so performance is not very important (but I want to be able to use eg. MS Office/browser with no problems). I also don't care much if it's a macbook/laptop/ultrabook/etc. I will be mainly using to take notes and write seminars. Maybe play some indie games (FTL, mincecraft etc)/web games/watch movies during long breaks.
The most important things are:
Battery life - I don't know what's the average but the longer the better
Performance - able to run a browser and MS Office (or whatever) with no problems, watch HD movies or do some very casual gaming (no need for dedicated GPU)
Price - max ~615$ (that would include shipping so aim a bit lower)
Ergonomics - comfortable keyboard, good cooling (so it doesn't feel like my hands are on a frying pan) and low weight (very important)
Capacity - 1 TB would be ideal, but I could work with 500 GB, maybe an SSD (but not necessary)
Touchscreen - I'd like one if it doesn't hike up the price too much
Misc - Wi-Fi, good viewing angle, HDMI port, USB ports (at least one 3.0 would be nice)
I'm also willing to buy used if that will get me better performance.
Thank you for all the help.