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 pen testing is certainly 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.
The main reason why it is important to carefully study the laptop requirements and then make a decision 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 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 2018)
Acer Aspire E 15
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.
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. Isn’t this just great? Check out the features of the laptop below:
- 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6500U Processor
- 15.6-inch Full HD Display
- Up to 12-hours Battery Life
- 8GB DDR4 Memory
- Memory Speed – 2133 MHz
- 256GB SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB DDR5 VRAM
- Weight – 5.3 pounds
- Fast processor
- Backlit keyboard
- Less bloatware
- Includes a DVD write drive
- Runs quiet and cool
- Long battery life
- Some laptops faced slow wireless Internet problems
Apple MMGG2LL/A MacBook Air
Apple laptops have always been one among the best in all the fields, and the same is the case here. The Apple MMGG2LL/A MacBook Air is one of the most recommended laptops for Kali Linux and Pen testing.
The laptop is fully packed with all the necessary features, and in addition to that you have Apple quality, this makes a fantastic combination.
This laptop falls in the above $1000 category but its worth every penny. Check out the specifications of the laptop mentioned below:
- 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz) with 3 MB shared L3 cache
- 13.3-Inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Glossy Widescreen Display
- 8 GB of RAM
- 256 GB PCIe-based flash storage
- Intel HD Graphics 6000
- OS X El Capitan
- Up to 12 Hours of Battery Life
- Weight – 3 pounds
Apple MacBook Pro MJLT2LL/A
Another Apple product on the list is Apple MacBook Pro MJLT2LL/A which is as good as other Apple Laptops.
A lot of people who have tried Kali Linux and pentesting refer using Apple MacBook Pro. Though price on a higher side this laptop is one of the best when it comes to delivering performance.
Loaded with features just laptop is a sure shot must buy if you do not have budget constraints. Before you take a decision make sure to check out the listed specifications of the laptop mentioned below:
- 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz
- 16GB 1600MHz memory
- Intel Iris Pro Graphics
- AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB GDDR5 memory
- 512GB PCIe-based flash storage1
- Long battery life of 9 hours
- Weight 4.5 pounds
Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop
Dell has been in the market for a long time now and is providing people with its best quality laptops. The Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop is one of the worthy laptops in the list of best laptops for pentesting.
This Dell laptop has all the required specifications, and the best part is that it has an affordable price tag people with a limited budget can definitely opt for this system. Go through the specifications mentioned below before investing:
- Intel i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz Quad-Core
- 8 GB DDR3L
- 256 GB Solid-State Drive
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
- 5.6-Inch FHD IPS
- Weight 6 pounds
- Boots Windows 10 under 20 seconds
- Strong wireless Internet signal
- Good performance
- Expandable memory
- Good for multitasking
- Average battery life
- Average quality
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E560
Another laptop in the list packed with features and with an affordable price range is the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E560. If you are a beginner at pentesting and Kali Linux this system is a good option for you to buy.
With its strong performance and reasonable price, it is worth investing in this Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E560 laptop. One of the best parts of this laptop is that it comes with different configuration and specifications at the varied price range. Go through the specifications listed below:
- Intel Core i5-6200U Processor
- Microsoft Windows 7 Pro x64 preinstalled with the free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
- 8GB RAM
- 240GB Solid State Drive
- 15.6″ HD Screen Display
- Intel HD 520 Graphics
- Weight 5.4 pounds
- Upgradable memory
- Affordable price tag
- No heating issues
- Fast boot up
- You can hear the fan sound (sometimes)
ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM2T
For pentesting and Kali Linux, you need a reliable laptop with Long battery life, and the Asus Zenbook flip is the one to vouch for. This laptop is incredibly flexible and can transform into a notebook or tablet depending on your use.
This lightweight 3 LBS Asus laptop is built with some features and the list of the same as mentioned below:
- 13.3-Inch touchscreen IPS FHD display
- 6th generation Intel Core M CPU
- 512GB Solid State Drive
- 8GB RAM
- Windows 10 OS
- 1st ZenBook certified with Microsoft Cortana with Voice-Premium
- Weight 2.9 pounds
- Good performance
- No fan noise
- Windows Cortana is fun
- Seamless bootup
- Great color accuracy
- Average battery life
- Flip lock working issues faced by some people
Another Dell laptop in the list of best laptops for cleanliness and pentesting is Dell XPS9360-4841SLV. You can have one of the best pentesting experience with this laptop.
It does not have any borders and starts with the display itself just like a television set. This Dell laptop has one of the best Linux compatibility.
Check out other features of the system mentioned below:
- 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500u 3.5 GHz Processor
- 256GB SSD storage
- 13.3″ QHD+ (3200 x 1800) infinity-edge touch Display
- Windows 10 operating system
- 8GB RAM
- Weight 2.7 pounds
- Quick processor
- Amazing Touch screen
- Pleasing display
- Smooth trackpad
- Average quality
Lenovo Thinkpad X220
Last but not the least option in the list of the best laptops for pentesting and Kali Linux is the Lenovo X 220. Just like other Lenovo laptops this one too is a powerful and lightweight laptop.
If you have a limited budget and are a beginner, then this laptop is worth buying. Check out the features mentioned below:
- Core i5 2.5GHz i5-2520M
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB Solid State Hard Drive
- Windows 7 Pro 64Bit
- Weight 3.3 pounds
- Functions great
- Not The latest laptop with extra features
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 certain 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:
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 certain 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.
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.
This is one of the most underrated requirement 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 requirements depend on your needs, but yes, a storage of 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.
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.
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.
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 the portability. Thus, it is wise to buy a laptop having good battery life.
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.
The above-mentioned list of best laptops for pentesting and Kali Linux in 2018 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.