I'm looking for a laptop at around $1000 (or lower).
I'm a college student (CS major) and I would like a laptop that I can work with for 8+ hours/day. I would prefer a 15''+ screen, sturdy, last-long (hopefully until I graduate). I also play games too (not hardcore gaming)
BTW...I highly recommend getting a normal sized laptop if it has a discrete GPU. The ultra thin laptops look fancy, however when gaming they get incredibly hot (it can possibly do a minor burn on your legs if you do that) and they suffer from throttling issues.
For this price look for an msi ge series, asus n series or a barebone laptop. I would stay away from thin laptops as they will overheat very easily. Depending on your gaming needs look for a laptop with either an igpu if you are a casual gamer with an i5 m cpu or a gtx 860m if you like to play games at med to high settings.
The suggested MSI laptop is great for games, but I really doubt the laptop will last more than 4 hours with average use. While the quad core i7-5700HQ is pretty powerful it also consumes 3x more power than a dual core low voltage Core i5 CPU like the i5-5200u which is the primary reason it is not likely to last more than 4 hours on typical usage.
I can recommend a few laptops that can last 8+ hours with typical usage, but those laptops are less than 15" and do not have a dedicated GPU. They are the 13.3" Dell XPS (small bezel actually makes it close to the size of a 11.6" laptop), 14" ThinkPad T450s and 13" MacBook Pro.
According to one of the 3 reviews in the above Newegg link the MSI GP Series GP62 Leopard Pro-002 only gets about 2.5 to 3.0 hours on typical usage. That is far short of the desired 8+ hour battery life.