if your budget is a bit high, maybe the razor deathstalker ultimate gaming latop or something long and crazy. or maybe a may not be as big of a name but has just the same (maybe even more) the ideapad series (http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/y-series/) they are cheaper the razor and maybe not as good looking, but these babys have some power under the hood ;D
...or he can use the same amount of money and get twice as much power. Or maybe he prefers cutting edge technology over hyped status symbols. Idk.. but I actually can't come up with a worse alternative than a Mac (if you compare it to products in the same price ranges).
my laptop was about 500$, its a lenovo g7 or g10, i cant remember fully, 58-120 fps on minecraft and can handle the new world setting without lag. also the battery lasts 5 hours soooo >W<
(TheZygar could tell you what it is for sure because hes the one who bought it after her broke my other laptop)
why would you need windows 7? its impossibly slow compared to windows 8 and its easy to get used to windows 8 if youre used to windows 7. also look into lenovo laptops, their relatively inexpensive and pretty powerful for how thin they are normally, basically every lenovo laptop is light, thin, fast, and powerful, they can be expensive but most are well within a budget of 1500, for example mine was 500 (cant tell you exactly what laptop it is because my dad wont reply to me on skype) and i averages 60 fps, has a 5 hour battery life while running pandora, minecraft, and word (ive tested this). basically lenovo laptops are the best, and if you really need it to be windows 7 you can install windows 7 on it. (but windows 8 is the best just sayin )