Laptop recommendations?

Hi there,

I'm looking for a new PC, but I've never bought one before. I currently have a Mac, but after only a year it's super slow and parts keep breaking, so when it dies I'm going to replace it with a PC. I found the "Laptop Buyers FAQ" page on this site and thought that I might be able to get some advice :)

1. Budget: Up to $650

2. Size of the notebook: 15" to 17"

3. Screen resolution: Anything good enough to edit pictures and run Minecraft.

4. Portable or desktop: Portable (I commute back and forth to school every day and use it in my classes).

5. Battery life: 4 hours or so

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
The only game I play regularly is Minecraft: my Mac can't handle it even on the lowest setting, so ideally I'd have a computer that could play it on at least the medium setting.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Photo editing and watching movies online.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Preferably greater than 2GB, but no more than 4GB.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as possible! Definitely more than two years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Just the typical DVD ROM/Writer, I don't need Bluray.

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 won't be buying from Apple again because their products are too expensive and not as durable as they used to be. They are also incompatible with a lot of the technology my university uses. Other than that, I have no preference.

13. What country do you live in? U.S.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Although I would prefer a lighter laptop, what's most important for me is durability and speed.
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  2. Thanks for the suggestions! I haven't heard great things about HP in general, but I haven't seen any concrete evidence that it's any better or worse than other brands. I can't seem to find any good comparisons between brands in general, but I'm mostly debating between lenovo, ASUS, and Acer. Unfortunately NewEgg doesn't have that many ASUS models with the combination of features I'm looking for, so really I'm mostly deciding between an Acer and a lenovo laptop. Luckily I'm not in a rush, because my Mac's trackpad problem stopped on its own.
  3. Best answer selected by psynapse.
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