I’m using a Dell E5430 laptop for similar purposes. Its got 4x USB (3x USB2 and 1x USB3), is cheap – hence my enthusiasm – and spare parts are readily available. With 8GB it copes with TheSKyX and Python code coexisting – both are a bit memory hungry. I have an SSD in mine, but I worry a bit about how those feel about low temperatures – there was ice on the lid of the laptop on Saturday night. Also, some E5430 variants have an Express card slot so you can easily add 2 further USBs.
Alternatively, NUCs look nice and Seeed Studio make some fascinating alternatives.