As we review the best laptop For Pentesting in 2019 there are a few things to have in mind. Ethical hacking is a very complex job. It is intricate and demanding as well.
One of the descriptions of a professional ethical hacker’s job is penetration testing, also known as pentesting.
This is a process that requires precision. It is a profession where you will not have to compromise on the quality of your laptop to get the job done.
You need a laptop that can not only run Kali Linux smoothly but one that can also run software like VMware or VirtualBox, without stalling or lagging.
Bearing this in mind, our experts undertook research to find out the best laptop for pentesting. Fortunately, they came up with quite a number of them. These laptops are the cream of the crop when it comes to pentesting laptop.
They go above and beyond a professional ethical hacker or ethical hacker enthusiast’s needs. Not only are the laptops going to be listed – you would also get to see the features that make them stand out, their advantages and disadvantages, before making a pick.
By the time you get to the end of this article, you would definitely see a pentesting laptop that is appropriate for your pentesting needs.
All right, let us quickly get to it without much ado.
Here is the List of Best Laptop For Pentesting in 2019
1. Apple MacBook Pro
First on our list is the MacBook Pro from Apple. This machine is a beast – one of the best laptop for pentesting and one of the best devices for many other kinds of jobs.
It has beautiful external features and the internal features and specifications are just so amazing. It is slim, it is sleek, it is powerful. Very few laptops come close to the Apple MacBook Pro.
This beauty has a screen size 13.3 inches and boasts a screen display resolution of 2880 × 1800 pixels. So, for starters, the display is superb. Still talking about the display, this MacBook offers Retina Display, a feature which gives sharp visual quality and high-quality color accuracy.
It is understandable that an ethical hacker might not be particular about a superb display. However, if you intend to multitask with your laptop, then, the display is a factor to consider. The MacBook Pro takes care of that.
It has a FaceTime High-Density Camera of 720 pixels, its panel is the IPS and its keyboard is backlit. For connectivity, there are four USB Type C ports on this laptop and it has a very large trackpad, which is a good thing for individuals with large hands.
Now, let us move on to the core features of this device.
The Apple MacBook Pro has a RAM storage space 16 GB and a Solid State Drive of 512 GB. Its CPU is a 3.3GHz dual-core i7 Intel Core processor, equipped with turbo boost that can go up to 3.6GHz – these make its performance fast and smooth. Therefore, you can run your Kali Linux on this device and carry out your pentesting with ease.
Its battery life lasts for as long as 9 hours while doing basic stuff on it. While running Kali Linux and pentesting though, it can take you for about three hours. That is pretty decent considering the fact that pentesting is not light work. This laptop runs on the Mac High Sierra operating system. It weighs 2.96 pounds.
Below is the summary of the main Pros and Cons of the Apple MacBook Pro.
- It has a high processing speed.
- It is capable of running Kali Linux and any other virtualization software for pentesting.
- The screen display is top notch.
- It is not a device of choice for an ethical hacker on a budget.
- The RAM and SSD cannot be upgraded.
2. Acer Predator Helios 300
The Predator Helios 300 from Acer, is boss. When talking about the Best Laptop For Pentesting , it stands proudly among the first ten. This laptop does not just look sturdy, it also gets the job done.
When it comes to looks, Acer Predator Helios 300 is durable, especially as the lid is finished in metal – aluminum precisely. The other parts are crafted out of strong plastic.
It has a screen size of 15.6 inches and weighs 5.95 pounds. Its backlit keyboard glows red and is very bright- you can easily work in the dark too, thanks to this illumination. It runs on the Windows 10 operating system.
Its RAM storage space is 16 GB, which can be upgraded to 32 GB. Then, its Solid State Drive is 256 M.3. There is a slot on the laptop, in case you want to upgrade the SSD too.
It offers the i7-7700HQ Processor 2.8GHz Intel Core of the 7th Generation and its Turbo Boost Technology can go way up to 3.8GHz – an extra 1GHz.
Its great processor also runs the fan inside efficiently and without noise, so, you do not have to worry about overheating while carrying out heavy tasks. Thus, this laptop can absolutely run Kali Linux, VMware, and other related software, allowing you to pentest with ease.
It has a USB Type C port, a memory card reader, an Ethernet jack and HDMI on one side; while on the other side, it has 2 USB 2.0 ports.
For those who might want to game with this laptop, its GPU is the NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB VRAM, which is pretty impressive when you consider the price of this device.
As for the battery life, while carrying out normal tasks, it can go for up to four or five hours. But, while running Kali Linux, pentesting or do anything heavy on it, the pentesting laptop can barely go for up to two hours without charge.
Below is the summary of the main Pros and Cons of the Acer Predator Helios 300.
- Its performance is great and it has a high processing speed.
- The RAM storage space and Solid State Drive can be upgraded.
- Its price is on the high side.
- The display is just there, so, you might have difficulty using this device in the sunlight or around very bright lights.
- It is quite heavy, so might be cumbersome to carry around all the time, especially without a strong laptop bag.
3. Dell XPS 15 Laptop
Here goes another amazing laptop that can be used for pentesting and everything else in between. It’s an all-rounder, one of the best laptops for pentesting, gaming and multitasking.
The Dell XPS 15 is a high-end product, for professionals who are not on a budget, and for good reason. Its features and specifications are just too good to be true.
It features a touchscreen size of 15.6 Infinity 4k IPS display. The screen resolution of this device is 3840 x 2160 pixels, one of the highest laptop displays on the market.
Of course, thanks to the high resolution, visuals on it are razor sharp, it has a high color accuracy and impressive viewing angles. While still on the topic of the display, it has an Adobe RGB of 99% and a sRGB of 96% – both of them almost 100 %. Can you beat that?
It has an almost borderless screen, its 15.6 inches fitting into a laptop that is more like 14 inches. It has a backlit keyboard, enabling you to work comfortably both during the day and in dark places.
Note that if touchscreen laptops are not your thing, this laptop has a version that has similar specifications without a touchscreen display.
Let us look at the CPU. The Dell XPS 15 has a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, which can take care of your Kali Linux and allow you to carry out pentesting without issues.
It has a RAM storage space 16 GB DDR4, which can be upgraded if you like. The Solid State Drive is 512 GB; it boasts a write speed of 1550 MB and a read speed of 3000 MB. So, rest assured that whatever processing tasks you carry out on this laptop will be swift and seamless.
The GPU is a GTX 1050 NVIDIA dedicated graphics, which is great for running Kali Linux and gaming too. It has a USB 3.0 port and an SD card reader on one side and on the other side, it boasts another USB 3.0 port, a USB Type-C Thunderbolt port and an HDMI.
It runs on the Windows 10 operating system and weighs 4.41 pounds, making it one of the lightest laptops with a screen size of over 15 inches.
The battery life can carry it for up to 7 hours while performing everyday tasks but when it comes to Kali Linux and pentesting, it can go for three hours at most.
Below is the summary of the main Pros and Cons of the Dell XPS 15 Laptop.
- It is very portable.
- The screen display is excellent.
- This laptop has a high-performance level and an impressive processing speed.
- Its looks give it a sleek finishing.
- This device does not come cheap.
4. Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 Laptop
Lenovo did an amazing job with the IdeaPad Y700. The first thing that anyone would notice about this laptop, is the size. It is a large device. But then, it packs a punch, so that is okay.
The IdeaPad has a screen size of a whopping 17.3 inches. If that is too much for you, you can check out the 15.6 inch and 14-inch versions of the Y700 laptops.
So, let us continue with the 17.3-inch model. It is a great choice of laptop for pentesting and if you want to know why to keep reading.
The screen is full HD, with an IPS display and a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It also has an anti-glare feature, which will allow you to work effectively in brightly lit places or even outside, with little distractions.
Also, for a laptop with an HD display of the above resolution, the visual quality is decent – it is not superb, neither is it bad. So, for pentesting, the display is nice.
It has a red backlit keyboard with two levels of brightness, which you can increase or decrease at will. One interesting feature of this laptop is the JBL speakers on both sides, just above the keypad.
In conjunction with a Dolby Home theatre, they give a loud and clear audio quality, which is a plus for an ethical hacker who is an audiophile.
The trackpad of this device is not as responsive as we would have loved. Fortunately, this oversight by the manufacturers can be fixed with an external mouse. This laptop has a RAM storage space of 16 GB and a combined hard drive 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD.
Thanks to a 6th generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, it can run Kali Linux and take on pentesting tasks quickly and smoothly. This 6th generation processor boots the device up in about ten seconds, and for this laptop, that is very impressive.
The GPU is not top notch, though it gets the job done. It is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB graphic card and it performs fairly well.
One side of the laptop features a memory card reader and a USB 2.0 port. The other boasts an Ethernet jack, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI connector. This device runs on the Windows 10 operating system and weighs 7.72 pounds.
The battery life lasts for about 6 hours while carrying out regular tasks. While running Kali Linux and pentesting, it can give you up to two hours before a recharge is required.
Below is the summary of the main Pros and Cons of the Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 Laptop.
- It has a seamless and smooth performance, with high processing speed.
- At under a thousand dollars, it is one of the most affordable laptops on this list.
- It is strong and can withstand minor accidents.
- The speakers are extraordinary.
- Its trackpad does not respond quickly.
- This is one very heavy laptop.
5. Alienware 17 R4 Laptop
If you think that the Lenovo IdeaPad is sturdy, meet a sturdier device. The Alienware 17 R4 is in a class of its own. It is also one of the best laptop for pentesting in 2019. Let us go further and see what this monster has to offer.
It boasts a screen size of 17.3 inches. The build is impressive, with most of its parts made of metal. Now, this model has two versions. One version has an HD display, while the other has a QHD display.
If you consider battery life while going for laptops, then get the one with HD display as its battery would go for a longer period than the other.
The display panel is an IPS and though the color accuracy is not so high, that does not make this device’s display below par. Its adobe RGB is 71 % while its sRGB is 92 %, which is more than decent.
Moreover, a sharp display is nothing to an ethical hacker if the device they get has lagging problems or underperforms. It has a RAM storage space of 16 GB and a combined hard drive of 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD. The SSD speed is 1662 MB/ 649 MB.
The write speed of the HDD is 123 MB while the read speed is 128 MB. Its processor is an Intel Core i7 of the 7th generation.
Therefore, with this device, you do not have to worry about lagging or slow processing, while running Kali Linux, pentesting or running other related software.
The GPU of this laptop is the NVIDIA GTX 1070 dedicated graphics, which is more than enough for your work needs and pretty good if you want to game.
It features a high thermal design power, which ensures that even while carrying out hardcore tasks on your laptop, it will not heat up.
The Alienware 17 R4 has a backlit keyboard – you can work in the dark with it. An intriguing feature of the backlight is its multiple color choices. You can use your favorite color for the backlit keyboard.
Its screen is anti-glare, so shadows would not distract you while using it in public places.
Alienware 17 R4 has a small but very responsive trackpad. There is a special feature on this laptop called the Tobii eye tracker, which you can use as an alternative to the trackpad.
Do not expect this feature to be as responsive as the trackpad though, because it is not. But then, it works and that is good enough for an alternative.
This laptop runs on the Windows 10 operating system. It weighs a huge 9.7 pounds. Needless to say that this is not a laptop you just fold, put in a bag and walk through the door with, every time.
It has been called a desktop replacement and we agree with the manufacturer. Anyway, if it is any consolation, we know that ethical hackers do always not move around with their laptops regularly. It has a USB 3.0 port and an HDMI connector.
Below is the summary of the main Pros and Cons of the Alienware 17 R4 Laptop.
- It is high processing, high-performance device.
- Thanks to its build, the Alienware 17 R4 is strong, durable and can withstand falls from small heights.
- It’s a very responsive trackpad, coupled with its processing speed, will definitely make your work enjoyable.
- This laptop is not portable at all. It is a very heavy device.
- It is probably the most expensive on this list, at over two thousand dollars. So, if you are on a budget, this beast is not for you.
6. Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS
Our final look on the best laptop for pentesting in 2019 is another product from Dell – Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS. It is easy on the eyes, it has great specifications and it is affordable.
It has a screen size of 15.6 inches and a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The display features a TN panel which despite not offering the best in terms of color accuracy and sharp visuals, is good enough for ethical hacking.
It has a RAM storage space of 16 GB DDR4, which you can upgrade if you want and a Solid State Drive of 512 GB. We can guarantee that this SSD is very swift when put side by side with other laptops that have an SSD of 3 SATA.
Also, like the IdeaPad that we looked at earlier, this device boots up in about ten seconds tops. So, for running Kali Linux, pentesting and any other hardcore tasks, this laptop is up for the challenge.
Its processor is the i7-7700HQ Quad-Core Intel Core of the 7th generation. It has a base frequency of 2.8 GHz, which can boost to 3.8 GHz.
The GPU is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, which is pretty decent.
Also, the keyboard is backlit, allowing you to work either in lit or dark places. It runs on the Windows 10 operating system and weighs 5.66 pounds.
The battery life can last for up to 10 hours while running light tasks on this laptop. However, while pentesting or running Kali Linux, you would get about 4 hours of battery life, before it would require charging.
- This laptop gives good value for money.
- It has a great processing speed and the performance is impressive.
- It comes at an affordable price.
- The battery life is great.
- If you are particular about the display, you will not find the color accuracy or viewing angles impressive.
With these six powerful laptops for pentesting laptop, we have come to the end of this review. They are among the top best laptop for pentesting in 2019 and running Kali Linux.
All of them can take anything thrown at them when it comes to ethical hacking. That is not all – they have good and dedicated graphics cards, so if you are a professional hacker as well as a game lover, you would love any of these devices.
Before making a choice, it is advisable to weigh your options – especially, as regards the overall nature of your work as a professional ethical hacker. Also, most of the reviewed laptops are quite expensive, but about two of them are under a thousand dollars.
Ultimately, you would find one that is perfect for you, after going through the specifications and prices. All the reviewed products are available on Amazon.