Originally Posted by bpm55
I work at a university IT for their Mechanical Engineering department, we buy Lenovo laptops exclusively. The 520W is one of the top ones we buy, for it's great performance with engineering and decent battery life which can be upgraded with a stronger battery life.
The w520 is nice but in my opinion it's to large and heavy to be a good laptop for college. I've been using an x220 and absolutely love it, the portability and battery life make it far more useful than the larger laptops I have used in the past.
The Thinkpad x220/x230 unfortunately only have integrated graphics which doesn't sound like it is what you want however there are a couple of ultrabooks with gpu's that should be powerful enough for what you need. The Asus Zenbook UX32VD would be my main recommendation since it has a incredible display compared to nearly all of the other laptops out there but the Acer Timeline Ultra M5 is another promising choice.
Vizio's new notebook also looks promising, it's not as good as the Zenbook but it's already available and the prices are good.