Top 12 Best Laptops for Pentesting & Kali Linux in 2020

Are you looking out for a laptop for the penetration testing or Kali Linux? If yes is that you have answered, then you need to know that choosing the right type of laptop for pentesting is undoubtedly a difficult task. You may be thinking that buying any high-end laptop for penetration testing would solve the purpose, but it is not the case. Pentesting laptop requirements are different when compared to the regular systems, and that is something you would of course know. That is why one should spend some time finding the best laptop for pentesting in 2020.

The main reason why it is essential to study the laptop requirements and then make a decision carefully is that penetration testing requires you to install some programs on the laptop. Thus, you need to ensure that the system enables the downloads. Knowing the latest Kali Linux and penetration testing laptops are crucial for you because up till now the web was filled with the old laptops that are now traditional and would be of no use to you.

We have compiled a list of 10 best laptops for pen-testing and Kali Linux, and here it is. Below you get onto this, keep in mind that the laptops are listed in no particular order.

List of Best Laptop for Pentesting (Penetration Testing in 2020)

Acer Aspire E 15 – 8th Gen Processor

One of the best laptops to start with. The Acer Aspire E 15 is one amongst the most preferred laptops for Kali Linux and pentesting.

Acer Aspire E 15 For Kali Linux

The system is power-packed with features, and one of the positive things is that it is available at a reasonable price tag. The storage of the system can be upgraded as per your choice. 8th Gen i7 processor with SSD storage are the key elements of this laptop under the price. The hardware configuration allows you to install Kali Linux and do the Pentest with the all necessary security auditing software without any lags. Isn’t this just great? Check out the features of the laptop below:

Specifications:

  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U Processor
  • 15.6-inch Full HD Display
  • Up to 15-hours Battery Life
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory
  • 256GB SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX 150 with 2GB DDR5 VRAM
  • Weight – 5.3 pounds
PROS:
  • Fast processor
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Less bloatware
  • Includes a DVD writer drive
  • Runs quiet and cool
  • Long battery life
CONS:
  • Some laptops faced slow wireless Internet problems
Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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LG gram Laptop

The LG Gram is a versatile and feature-packed 15.6 inch laptop. The latest and powerful processor makes it the ideal option for professionals and pentesters. It comes with 16 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD, which helps in multitasking. The light-weight and military-grade durable laptop is an ideal option for those on the go.

LG Gram Thin And Light Laptop Review

The Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and multiple ports ensure fast data transfer. You can also access your laptop securely using the fingerprint sensor. It saves you from the hassle of remembering passwords. Hence, the LG Gram Laptop is a recommended option. The price range may be a bit high. However, the features and premium performance make it worth the price.

Specifications:

  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8565U Processor (up to 4.6 GHz)
  • 15.6 inch Full HD IPS touchscreen display with slim bezel
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 1 TB SSD
  • Up to 18.5 hours battery life
  • Weighs under 2.5 lbs
  • Thunderbolt 3 connectivity
  • Multiple ports- USB type-C, USB 3.0, HDMI

PROS:

  • Backlit keyboard
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Military-grade durability
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Lightweight and portable

CONS:

  • Issues with hard drive

$1,647.00 $1,999.99
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August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro Laptop (MR942LL/A)

Here is the Apple product on the list is Apple MacBook Pro MR942LL/A which is as good as other Apple Laptops. Obviously, this is not for Kali Linux except you use some virtualization plaftform. 

Apple 15 4 MacBook Pro Laptop

A lot of people who have tried Kali Linux and pentesting refer using Apple MacBook Pro.  Though the price is on the higher side, this laptop is one of the best when it comes to delivering performance.

Loaded with features, and the laptop is a sure shot must buy if you do not have budget constraints. The latest model of MacBook has the all top level of hardware configuration. Before you take a decision make sure to check out the listed specifications of the laptop mentioned below:

Specifications:

  • 2.6 GHz 8th Gen Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz
  • 16GB memory
  • Radeon Pro 560X Graphics
  • 512GB SSD
  • Retina Display and Touchbar
  • Weight 4 pounds

  

PROS:

  • Super fast boot
  • Sharper retina display
  • Good quality build
  • Long battery life
  • Superb Radeon graphics
  • Brilliant performance

CONS:

  • Non-upgradable memory
  • Expensive

Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Thin and Portable Laptop

If you are looking for a budget-friendly laptop that will provide you a bit of everything for pentesting then latest version of Asus Vivobook pro is a machine you should consider buying.

ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Laptop For PentestingAll previous version of Asus Vivobook has passed the test of being a strong performer and comes in an attractive case with effective thermal management. Pro 17 is not an exception to all these qualities but it has a lot more than that. Asus Vivobook 17 is featured with the latest 8th generation Intel Core CPU while maintaining the age-old GPU from NVIDIA. 16GB RAM and hybrid storage options with the 256GB SSD & 1TB HDD is enough to give you the performance that you will need for pentesting. Not only that the 17.3-inch wide full HD screen is big enough and provides awesome graphics experience. When it comes to connectivity, Asus made sure that the user will get enough of that. It has USB-C, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports.

Overall, Asus Vivobook is a good choice for the Kali Linux users to begin with pentesting at an affordable price. Go through the specifications mentioned below before investing:

Specifications

  • Display – 17.3-inch full HD
  • Processor – Intel Core i7-8565u (Turbo boost up to 4.6GHZ)
  • RAM – 16GB DDR4
  • Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB graphics ram
  • Hard Drive – 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Connectivity – one USB-C port, one USB 3.1 port, two USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI. SD Card & Kensington lock slot.
  • Weight – 1.9 KG
PROS:
  • Excellent built with quality material
  • Thin and lightweight design.
  • Bright, full HD display with better color, contrast and matte finish
  • Better connectivity with various ports
  • The strong performance with a hybrid hard drive.
CONS:
  • The battery does not perform well.
Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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Acer Aspire 5 Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 is powered by the 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, which ensures lag-free performance for up to 9.5 hours. It comes with 8 GB memory and 256 GB storage space. Hence, it is one of the most recommended choices for pentesting and Kali Linux.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop Review

The model features a thin and light-weight design that enhances its mobility. The 15.6 inches Full HD display ensures crisp and sharp images to enhance your visual experience. The detailed visuals are teamed with an innovative speaker and rich bass. Hence, it provides an immersive feel. One of the best parts of this laptop is that it comes with different configuration and specifications at a different price range.  Go through the specifications listed below:

Specifications

  • 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265U Processor (up to 3.9 GHz)
  • 15.6-inch Full HD widescreen LED-backlit IPS display.
  • Up to 9.5 hours battery life
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
PROS:
  • Powerful processing with exceptional performance.
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Fingerprint reader.
  • Thin and lightweight design with aluminum top cover
  • Crisp and sharp visuals
  • Extensive connectivity
CONS:
  • Fan is noisy
Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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Acer Spin 3 Convertible Laptop

The Acer Spin 3 features a 15.6 inch Full HD IPS display that can be rotated because of its 360-degree hinge. The convertible laptop screen also provides you the experience of a tablet.

Acer Spin 3

It offers convenience while working on pentesting. Moreover, it is equipped with the latest 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor that ensures efficient and smooth performance for up to 12 hours. The model features a Microsoft certified rechargeable stylus that enables you to draw, edit, and take notes with ease.

It allows you to quickly edit applications, videos, and more with its 512 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM. This laptop has some other features and the list of the same as mentioned below:

Specifications :

  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8565U Processor (up to 4.6 GHz)
  • 4 inch Full HD LED-backlit IPS convertible display
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Up to 12 hours of battery life
  • Weight- 3.75 lbs
  • Dual-band WiFi with MU MIMO technology
PROS:
  • Multi-touch convertible display
  • Rechargeable active stylus unleashes creativity.
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Dual front facing speakers
  • Faster wireless speed
CONS:
  • No USB Type-C port
Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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Lenovo Ideapad L340 Laptop

The Lenovo Ideapad L340 is powered by the latest 9th generation Intel Core i5 processor. It ensures seamless and power-efficient performance for up to 9 hours. The budget-friendly model is a suitable option for gameplay and pentesting.

Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop

It comes with 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD, which enables fast boot and data transfer. The Lenovo Ideapad features a 15.6 inch Full HD IPS display and a backlit keyboard. The sleek, stylish, and elegant design makes it a suitable choice for customers. Moreover, it helps Kali Linux software to run efficiently.

Specifications :

  • 9th Generation Intel Core i5 Processor (up to 2.4 GHz)
  • 15.6 inch Full HD IPS display
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512 GB NVMe SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce Graphics
  • Weight- 4.84 lbs
PROS:
  • Fast, smooth, and power-efficient performance
  • Lenovo vintage eye care mode
  • Advanced Dolby-Audio technology
  • Keyboard backlight
CONS:
  • It heats up in case of heavy use
Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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Asus ZenBook 13 Laptop

The Asus Zenbook 13 is equipped with the latest generation i7 Quad Core processor, 16 GB RAM, and 512 GB SSD. It ensures smooth and lag-free performance for up to 14 hours. The specifications and features meet the requirements of a pentesting and security auditing tools.

Asus ZenBook 13 Ultra Slim Laptop

The long-lasting battery, multiple ports, and Intel HD graphics processor make it a suitable buy. Moreover, the Asus Zenbook has been awarded for its design. The Ergolift design optimized cooling enhances audio and improves typing.

It also features an illuminated numeric keypad that can return to the normal touchpad mode on a single tap. The model is lightweight, compact, and durable. Hence, it is a reliable and portable option available under the price of $1000.

Specifications :

  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8565U Quad Core Processor (up to 4.6 GHz)
  • 16 GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 512 PCle NVMe SSD
  • Ports- HDMI, USB 3.1 Type-A, USB Type-C, USB 2.0, microSD card reader
  • 13.3 inches Full HD NanoEdge Bezel display
  • Weight- 2.6 lbs
  • Up to 14 hours battery life
  • Intel HD graphics Processor
PROS:
  • Lightweight, compact, and portable design
  • ErgoLift design for improved typing position and optimized cooling
  • Up to 95% screen to body ratio
  • High-battery capacity
  • Military-grade durability
  • Built-in IR camera for facial recognition
  • Illuminated numeric keypad
CONS:
  • Trackpad is not good
Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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Lenovo Thinkpad E590 Laptop

One more useful option in the list of the best laptops for pentesting and Kali Linux is the Lenovo Thinkpad E590. It is a business-ready laptop that offers value for money. 

Lenovo Thinkpad E590 Laptop

It maximizes performance and productivity with its latest 8th generation Intel Quad Core i5 processor. The laptop features a sleek and compact design with sturdy metal construction. It comes with a military-grade durability certification that enables you to carry it around with ease.

Moreover, the security features keep your data safe and secure. It is a reliable choice for professionals and pentesters. If you have a limited budget and are a beginner, then this laptop is worth buying.  Check out the features mentioned below:

Specifications:

  • 8th Generation Intel Quad-Core i5 8265U (Turbo 3.90 GHz)
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
  • 15.6-inch anti-glare display
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512 GB PCle NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Ports- HDMI, USB Type-C, 2 USB 3.0, USB 2.0 Type-A, headphone + microphone jack, microSD reader, RJ45
  • HD webcam 720p
  • Weight- 4.7 lbs
PROS:
  • Military-grade durability
  • Security features (TPM 2.0)
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Powerful performance
CONS:
  • Non-backlit keyboard
Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

One of the Microsoft laptop that is considered as the best laptops for cleanliness and pentesting is Microsoft surface laptop 3. You can have one of the best pentesting experience with this laptop.  

Microsoft Surface 3 - best laptop for pentesting

The Microsoft Surface 3 is equipped with the latest 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor. Thus, it ensures smooth performance for up to 11.5 hours. It supports software like Kali Linux and is suitable for security auditing and more. The thin and lightweight mode allows you to multi-task because of its 16 GB RAM and ample storage space.

It comes with two USB ports that also support fast charging. You can easily charge your laptop up to 80% in an hour. Microsoft Surface 3 is available in a wide range of color option for you to choose from. Hence, is a suitable option for those concerned with physical appearance and design.

Check out  other features of the system mentioned below:

Specifications:

  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256/512/1 TB SSD
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Up to 11.5 hours of battery life
  • 13.5-inch display
  • Weight- 2.79 lbs
  • Ports- USB C and USB A
PROS:
  • Fast charging- up to 80% in an hour
  • Elegant, thin, and lightweight design
  • Enhanced speed and performance
  • Various color options to choose from- new sandstone, matte black, platinum, and cobalt blue
  • Improved studio mics
  • Multi-tasking capability
CONS:
  • Higher-end configurations are expensive
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Dell Inspiron i3583 Laptop

The Dell Inspiron i3583 is another excellent option available under $500. It is powered by the 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor. Hence, it ensures smooth and fast performance at all times.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra Slim Gaming PC Laptop For Pentesting

The 16 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD allow you to multitask and transfer data at a lightning-fast speed. Moreover, the 15.6-inch touch screen LED display enhances visuals. On the other hand, the multiple ports and wireless connectivity ensures extensive connection. It is a recommended choice for those under a budget.

Check out  other features of the system mentioned below:

Specifications:

  • 8th Generation Intel Quad Core i5 8265U Processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • 15.6 inch touchscreen LED backlight display
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256 GB PCle SSD
  • Weight- 4.41 lbs
  • Ports-  USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 type-A, HDMI
PROS:
  • Built-in HD webcam with microphone
  • Thin and lightweight design
  • Intel turbo boost
  • Maxxaudio
CONS:
  • No negative points were seen so far
Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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HP 17.3″ HD+ Laptop

HP – an innovative tech company never fails to amaze its users. So, does this laptop. It has most everything that you will need.

HP 17 Inch HD Laptop For Linux

The first thing that we noticed in this laptop is an ability to upgrade the most of things. You can upgrade the RAM from 8G to 32GB and hard drive from 1TB to 2TB HDD along with the 1TB SSD isn’t that amazing. With so much power, this laptop can definitely boot up in no time. Also, it comes in the two color – golden and silver. The 17.3-inch display has 1600×900 pixels resolution and comes with the 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7-8550U processor that can turbo boost up to the 4.0GHz.

Overall, we find this laptop to be a good pick at an affordable price. Those who looking for the best pentesting laptop should go through its specification to see if it can fulfill your requirements. Check out the detailed specifications of this laptop below: 

Specifications:

  • Display – 17.3-inch with 1600×900 pixels resolution and WLED-backlit
  • Processor – Intel Quad Core i7-8550U with 8MB cache and turbo boost up to the 4.0GHz
  • RAM – 8GB (Upgradable up to the 32GB)
  • Hard Drive – 1TB SSD with 2TB HDD (Upgradable)
  • Graphics – Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Connectivity – two USB 3.1, one USB 2.0 and HDMI port.
  • Weight – 5.52 pounds
PROS:
  • Bright and wide display
  • Latest processor with 1TB SSD boot
  • Affordable
CONS:
  • Heavy
Last update was on: August 8, 2020 9:12 pm
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Best Laptop for Pentesting – Buying Guide

Before you get out to look for the systems that are ideal for Kali Linux and pentesting, it is important for you to know the essential requirements. For each of this task, the elements that the system should have been the same.

Also, before you get out to the market to find the laptops, make sure that you fix a budget because there are various laptops available in the different price range. Check out the requirements below to get a fair idea:

Performance

The most important thing that matters when buying the best laptop for pentesting is performance. For pentesting or Kali Linux, you would want a laptop that has a minimum of the i5 processor. If you can get the i7 processor within your budget, then nothing better than that. These processors have sufficient core to make sure that your penetration testing and Kali Linux software run efficiently. If you do not have budget constraints then buying an i7 is recommended because it will give you a long battery runtime.

Memory

Another significant aspect that you need to consider when buying a pentesting and Kali Linux laptop is the memory of the system. A minimum requirement of 4GB RAM is a must.

Also, if you do not have budget constraints then going for 8GB  RAM is a great option.

Graphics Card

This is one of the most underrated requirements that most people forget about. Checking out the graphics card is as important as other requirements. Nvidia card dominates the laptop industry, and also it is the best that you can get.

Storage

Storage requirements depend on your needs, but yes, storage of a minimum 250 GB is essential. When it comes to storage type, SSD is recommended, but if you are on a budget, then the HDD will do. Depending on the storage time, your boot time will suffer. If you go for SDD, then you can expect a fast boot-up and vice versa with HDD.

Also, there are laptops available with multiple hard drives. If you wish to choose this option, know that it asks you to compromise on the weight and battery life.

Wi-Fi

You would probably require a Wi-fi chip for injection and monitoring mode which is not available as an option always. You would get a decent Wi-fi support card, and it is always a better idea to find external support.

USB ports

Having multiple USB ports is always a plus. But make sure you do not make a decision based on this factor. 4 USB ports would be a good option, but you can even go with the laptop having 3 USB ports.

Battery life

One of the most important factors to consider but is often forgotten. The battery life of the laptop often determines the performance of the system. Would you want to plug in charger always while working? This will certainly affect portability. Thus, it is wise to buy a laptop having good battery life.

Price

Price last but not the least important factor to consider while buying the best laptop for pentesting is the price. It is usually the decision-maker but makes sure that you do not only find the price while buying the laptop for Pen testing or Kali Linux.

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FAQs about Pentesting Laptops

#1 What are the best laptops for pentesting?

The best laptops for pentesting are as follows:

  • Acer Aspire 5
  • Lenovo Ideapad L340
  • Dell Inspiron i3583
  • Asus Zenbook 13

#2 How much RAM is required for Kali Linux?

A minimum RAM of 8 GB is required for Kali Linux. You will need a minimum hard disk space of 10 GB for its installation.

#3 Is Kali Linux illegal?

It is 100% legal to install and use Kali Linux software. It is an operating system that is developed in collaboration with open-source penetration testing software. Kali Linux is mainly used by security researchers.

The above-mentioned list of best laptops for pentesting and Kali Linux in 2020 will give you an idea of the ones that are trending in the market at present.  Consider your needs and budget to make sure that you have made the right investment decision.  Hope this list will help you pick the right one for yourself.

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