I'm hoping to get a second opinion on a laptop as a gift for a family member, since I have a hard time taking what I would want out of the equation and I know that I'm a bit more demanding of my computers than this user. Budget is about $900 on this one, and it's more of a desktop replacement. I'm looking at this one right now:
I'm a fan of the quad core, the 1080p display, the 8 GB of RAM, and for this particular user the touchscreen is definitely a plus. I've felt it up in the store and it seems to have good build quality with the aluminum body, which would be a plus since this user is not as careful as I am. I generally trust ASUS anyway. If it was the model with the dedicated graphics card this would be a no brainer, but I'm wondering how much the average user really needs the extra power? I don't think they'll be doing anything more complicated than Microsoft Office and some internet games, and I believe the onboard graphics with the i7 should be capable of handling any HD video playback they'd be doing.
This model seems to hit all my check boxes I had when I started looking, I'd just like extra input before I give it the go ahead.
The integrated graphics are pretty good, I was able to play an MMO game (SWTOR) at medium settings without any problems whatsoever (i didn't really experiment but it probably could have gone higher). Unless you are getting into the really demanding games at max settings the integrated graphics will probably get you pretty far.
If you wanted one with a graphics card I might recommend taking a peak at the lenovo y410p/y510p. But it sounds like you don't really need the dedicated gpu as much.