Great question about laptop specs Roland.
The FITS subframe images from my STXL16200 camera are each 30.9MB, and the stacked LRGB images are 185 MB. What size are the images from your ZWO camera ?
What is the typical life expectancy of a laptop (or any) computer these days ? That is assuming that it has not been damaged. When I was still working they used to replace our company laptops about every 3 - 5 years. My personal laptop is an ASUS Q552U that I bought at the end of 2015. I wanted to find a laptop that had a built-in CD-ROM, and this was one of the only models that had one. It's got the Intel I7 core with 12GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. I have had pretty good luck with it for imaging and processing, but I have never tried to process a really large stack of images.
I have noticed lately that they are not putting very many USB ports in the new model laptops.