First off, I would never buy one from a retail store. All but Lenovo load them up with extra crap that bogs it down eventually. You want a clean Windows install without all that junk. I would get one from here:http://www.xoticpc.com/#
They charge 15 bucks for clean install, well worth it. Plus unlike other stores you can swap out items.
If you are using for schoolwork, you probably don't want one from their gaming section. it will be a heavy/bulky case and more power than you need anyway. If you are going to do some gaming, you want a 15 inch (10 is too small and you have no num pad).
Kasp is right, get a dedicated GPU. Personally I like Asus/Acer ones. They are nice looking, good design on the cases. I've had my Acer for 7 years and it still performs well. They also have nice features on many like a button to turn off wifi and one to turn off keypad (if you have a wireless mouse). These are HUGE I think. Very handy.
This one has a dedicated graphics card that is really good, does not have an i7, but a fast i5 still: http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-e451ldxb51-p-7150.html
But I would spend the extra 40 bucks on this:http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-x550jkdh71-p-7766.html
faster i7 processor (clocks in almost double that i5), plus a better video card with double the dedicated RAM (2 GB). Also comes with double the hard drive (1 TB). That is a really nice laptop, and not that expensive really for that much power.
That 2nd one is $880. Add $15 for clean install and you come in just under $900.
Edited 12/13/2014 05:40:57