Top 10 Best Laptops for Pentesting and Kali Linux in 2018 (New Version)

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 2018.

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 2018)

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
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2018 Newest Flagship Premium Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Slim, stylish and 17.3 inches HD display laptop that can meet all requirements for pentesting. HP laptops have always been one among the best in all the fields, and the same is the case here. It is mainly built for business, so you do not get gaming or other fancy stuff with this laptop. If you are a professional network security guy who does the Penetration tests on Kali Linux at the big organizations, this laptop is the best choice. 

Lenovo IdeaPad 330

The laptop is fully packed with all the necessary features, and in addition to that, it is very cost effective. The computer can be customized and RAM can go up to 20GB and 1TB SSD storage. Powered with the 8th Gen i5 Quad Core processor.

Specifications:

  • 1.6 GHz (up to 3.4GHz) i5 8th Gen Processor
  • 17.3-Inch HD Screen
  • RAM up to 20GB
  • Up to 1TB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Reasonable Price
  • Larger Display

CONS:

  • N/A

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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: November 20, 2018 6:19 pm
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Dell Gaming Laptop – 15″ FHD, 8th Gen

Dell has been in the market for a long time now and is providing people with its best quality laptops.  The latest Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop is one of the worthy laptops in the list of best laptops for pentesting.

Dell Gaming Laptop For PentestingThe hardware combination can run any pentesting tools and scanning programs for a longer time. It comes with the 8th Gen i7 processor with 9MB cache. It is a great processor you can get on a Windows laptop in this price range. Additionally, 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD are part of this best laptop for pentesting in 2018. Do you think 256GB is not enough? No worries. You get 1TB normal hard disk to manage your disk space without any worries.  Go through the specifications mentioned below before investing:

Specifications

  • 8th Gen Intel i7-8750H
  • 16 GB DDR4
  • 256 GB SSD+1TB HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Dedicated VRAM
  • Weight 5.6 pounds
PROS:
  • Boots Windows 10 under 20 seconds
  • Strong wireless Internet signal
  • Good performance
  • Expandable memory
  • Good for multitasking
CONS:
  • Average battery life
  • Average Screen quality
Last update was on: November 20, 2018 6:19 pm
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2018 Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Business Laptop

Another laptop in the list packed with features and with an affordable price range is the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E580.  If you are a beginner at pentesting and Kali Linux this system is a good option for you to buy.

2018 Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Business Laptop

If you are the fan of old IBM ThinkPad laptops, then this is the best laptop for professional use like Pentesting. With its strong performance and reasonable price, it is worth investing on Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E580 laptop. One of the best parts of this laptop is that it comes with different configuration and specifications at the different price range.  Go through the specifications listed below:

Specifications

  • Intel Core i5-7200U Processor
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64
  • 4GB 2400 MHz RAM
  • 500GB HDD
  • 15.6″ Anti-Glare Screen Display
PROS:
  • Upgradable memory
  • Affordable price tag
  • Professional Business Look
  • Fast boot up
CONS:
  • Hardware specs are bit low
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Dell G5587-7866BLK-PUS G5 15

For pentesting and Kali Linux, you need a reliable laptop with powerful configuration, and theDell G5587-7866BLK-PUS G5 is the one to vouch for. This is another Dell laptop we wanted to mention in this list because of the price tag and hardware specification. If you are a gamer and network security guy, then you can consider this as the best option.

Dell G5587 7866BLK PUS G5

A stylish laptop which built mainly for gaming with the all cooling features that can work better for pentesting as well. Multitasking can be handled very well with its 8th Gen i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 128GB SSD. This laptop has some other features and the list of the same as mentioned below:

Specifications :

  • 8th Generation Intel i7 Processor
  • 128GB SSD+1TB HDD
  • 16GB RAM
  • 4GB GDDR5 Graphic Memory – GeForce GTX1050
  • Windows 10 OS
PROS:
  • Good performance
  • Reasonable price
  • 8th Gen i7 + 16GB DDR4
  • Hybrid disk
CONS:
  • Bit heavy
  • 128GB SSD may not enough
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Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490UA

The famous Asus produced another great and high-quality laptop. The Asus ZenBook 3 got the powerful processor, enough RAM, and 1TB of SSD to handle any heavy loads on this laptop. It is a full HD 14 inches screen with just 2.4 pounds of weight, and it is very portable friendly to carry out when you do Pentesting.

ZenBook 3 Deluxe

The portability and productivity balanced well on this model. Asus has made the keyboard and touchpad without any compromises. It has the backlit keyboard with more accurate typing. Gaming is not much considered here, it has the Intel HD 620 graphics with shared memory, but that is not a big deal if you are going to install Kali Linux for pentesting.

Specifications :

  • 8th Generation Intel i7 Quad Core Processor
  • 1TB SSD
  • 16GB RAM
  • 14 inches Full HD (1920×1080) Screen
  • Windows 10 OS
PROS:
  • Good performance
  • Lightweight, best for portability
  • 8th Gen i7 + 16GB DDR4
  • 1TB SSD
CONS:
  • Bit expensive
  • No standard USB A ports
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Acer Predator Helios 300 (with Gigabit Wi-Fi)

If you need a laptop that can do anything including high-end gaming and pentesting, then Acer Predator Helios 300 is one of the best options. As Acer build high-end laptops for the better price than anyone in the market, this laptop is one of the proof that they do it still. It comes with the latest 8th Gen i7 Processor, 16GB RAM and 6GB of dedicated display VRAM. Obviously, they have not missed the SSD for faster disk access.

Acer Predator Helios 300

This laptop has the all necessary ports, such as RJ45 network port for network security scanning and pentesting. As gaming is considered mainly, the cooling features have been taken care well, that will help you to run the Penetration tools for the more extended period. Gigabit Wi-Fi network adapter included for better data transfer rate through the wireless network.

Specifications :

  • 8th Generation Intel i7 6 Core Processor
  • 256GB SSD
  • 16GB RAM
  • Gigabit Wi-Fi – 1.73Gbps throughput
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB dedicated NVRAM
  • Windows 10 OS
PROS:
  • Good performance
  • Great network data transfer rate
  • 8th Gen i7 + 16GB DDR4
  • Best cooling featurs
CONS:
  • Heavy
  • Only 7 hours battery life
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MSI GV62 8RD-200

Last but not the least option in the list of the best laptops for pentesting and Kali Linux is the MSI GV62 8RD-200. Just like other MSI laptops this one too is a powerful and lightweight laptop. With the 8th Gen i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 16GB SSD (for OS installation) + 1TB normal hard disk, this is one of the best laptop for penteting under 800 dollars. 

MSI GV62 8RD 200

MSI has limited the RAM to 8GB and SSD to 16GB to cut down the cost of the laptop. Still, the RAM can be upgraded up to 32GB.  It comes with dedicated 4GB display RAM on NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050Ti, hence the display VGA is not going to consume the computer RAM. With the standard but still powerful hardware configuration, MSI GV62 8RD-200 is the budget-friendly laptop for network administrations and security professionals. It has all ports and necessary cooling features to this laptop super deal. If you have a limited budget and are a beginner, then this laptop is worth buying.  Check out the features mentioned below:

Specifications:

  • 8th Gen Core i5
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM – Max 32GB
  • 16GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050Ti 4G GDDR5
  • Intel Optane Technology
PROS:
  • Reasonable Price
  • Powerful Graphics
  • Better cooling
  • Functions great
CONS:
  • Only 16GB Faster Disk
  • 8GB may not enough if you are high-end user
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Dell XPS9360-4841SLV

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.  

DELL XPS

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:

Specifications:

  • 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
PROS:
  • Quick processor
  • Amazing Touchscreen
  • Pleasing display
  • Smooth trackpad
CONS:
  • Average quality
Last update was on: November 20, 2018 6:19 pm

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 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

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.

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 the 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.

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.

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