Need help customizing a laptop for college

Hello, I'll be heading off to college this fall and am in need of a laptop. My primary use will obviously be simple things like word processing and internet browsing but I also do quite a bit of music and video downloading and movie making. I'd like the machine to run as efficiently as possible, my current desktop setup is wonderful even with over 500gb of stuff on it. I've started doing preliminary research and have looked at dell xps and sony vaio, both look nice but I'm not sure exactly what options to get (i5 480 vs 580, what rpm cpu and what size, dedicated graphics card, etc) so if you guys could help me out I'd be very, very grateful!! Thanks
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  1. Hello pakerfn4

    How soon do you need the new laptop?

    You can help us out and answer a few more questions in the form shown in the sticky topic:
    FAQ - Read before buying / considering a laptop

    Just today AMD has released details about it next gen Laptop CPU (with integrated graphics) called Llano. From your task descriptions it seems it could fit your requirements nicely. It will be soon and should be many models available in the lead up to 'back to school' season.
    Technical details here: The AMD A8-3500M APU Review: Llano Is Unleashed
  2. 1. What is your budget?
    I'd like to keep it under $1200
    2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
    Probably 14" since it's for college and should be portable
    3. What screen resolution do you want?
    Not entirely sure
    4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
    5. How much battery life do you need?
    Enough to last a class period and then some (4-5+ hrs)
    6. Do you want to play games with your laptop?
    7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
    Photo/Video editing, multi tasking (many, many windows/tabs running at the same time)
    8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
    I'll have an external but I'd like at least 600 gb
    10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
    Preferably for at least 3 years
    11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
    Just DVD, but writable
    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.
    I try to avoid Dell and HP but that's just me, maybe their higher end stuff is reliable
    13. What country do you live in?
    US of A
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