Best Laptops for Pentesting 2022

The current era is the most unsafe and risky your privacy is always on the stack. The entire world is creating systems to strengthen their secrecy or confidentiality. If you are facing the same, then here we have solutions. 

Firstly let’s talk about Pentesting a penetration test, or penetration test is a simulated cyber attack upon your computer system to check for exploitable vulnerabilities.

Usually, it is an authorized human-driven test to check the weaknesses and strengths of an organization’s security system.

Best Laptop for Pentesting

If you are looking for the best laptop to conduct a test for Pentesting, we have shortlisted a list of laptops that will make this testing easy and efficient for you. These laptops have an elegant design, are efficient, economical, and budget-friendly that are best for Pentesting. 

This article will help you obtain the best laptop for Pentesting and make it easier for you to choose the best option through real experiences.

Recommendations of Best Laptops for Pentesting:

Let’s discuss the list of the recommended best budget laptop for Pentesting in detail to make it easier for you guys to choose the suitable option. A list of the best laptops for Kali Linux along with Pentesting is bellowed;

IMAGEPRODUCTSFEATURESPRICE
Asus Vivobook S15Asus Vivobook S15Display: 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB SSD
Dell XPS 13Dell XPS 13Display: 13.3 inch FHD (3840 x 2160)
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Dell XPS 15Dell XPS 15Display: 15.6 inch FHD (3840 x 2160)
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Alienware AAW17R4-7004SLV-PUS 17Alienware AAW17R4-7004SLV-PUS 17Display: 17.3 inch FHD (2560 x 1440)
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 256GB SSD
Acer Nitro 5 LaptopAcer Nitro 5 LaptopDisplay: 15.6 inch
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB SSD
Battery: Up to 8 hours
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SGSMSI GS66 Stealth 10SGS Display: 15.6 inch
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Microsoft Surface Pro 5th GenerationMicrosoft Surface Pro 5th GenerationDisplay: 12.3 inch
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB
Battery: Up to 13.5 hours
Dell Inspiron 15Dell Inspiron 15Display: 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
RAM: 8 GB
Storage: 512 GB SSD
Dell XPS Thin and Light LaptopDell XPS Thin and Light LaptopDisplay: 15.6 inch FHD (3840 x 2160)
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Battery: Up to 6 hours
Newest Acer Aspire 5Newest Acer Aspire 5Display: 15.6 inch
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB SSD
Battery: Up to 6 hours

How to Select Best Laptop For Pentesting – Buyer Guide

What is Pentesting?

Pentesting will check for potential unauthorized access to the system, data, features, etc. The pentesters are usually engaged by organizations to assess and identify weaknesses that will be done within the company network environment.

How Pentesting is performed?

Pentesters use a variety of tools for testing possible security breaches in targeted systems. It would be for Port scanner, Vulnerability scanners, Network sniffer, Password cracker, and Web proxies, etc.

As there are certain types of security threats. That’s why they will use separate tools for each threat. Some famous and top pentesting tools are

  • Kali Linux
  • Nmap
  • Netsparker
  • John The Ripper
  • Nessus
  • and BeEF, etc.

The guide will make it easier for you to select the best laptop for Pentesting by defining the standards you can follow in choosing the best option for you. Let’s dig into this in the below section.

What Minimum and Recommended Specifications are Required For Pentesting Laptops?

Pentesters use different tools and tests to assess the services and networks for their potential weaknesses.

In order to do this testing along with other pentesting tools. Many tests are conducted to check vulnerabilities, like the White Box Test, Blind Test, Double-Blind Test, and External and Internal Tests, etc. 

As their are different tools through which pentesting is performed and each tool has different system requirements. So below, before exploring each famous system specifications, there is general specifications.

Processor (CPU): 

Any modern multicore Intel or AMD processor with 32-bit or 64-bit architecture, like  Intel 10th Gen Core i5- or Intel Core i7 model with maximum available cache memory and clock speed will do the job.

You should choose a laptop with latest generation processor for example Intel’s 9th – 12th generation processor or AMD’s latest generation processor like Zen – Zen 3 architecture with 3000-6000 series.

RAM

Being a penteser, you should know that RAM is working space for a laptop and you should have more working space. So if you want to perform tests efficiently and with satisfactory results, go for maximum RAM you can afford.

RAM for Laptop

For best performance and results within quick sort time you should pick a laptop having minimum 8 GB of RAM. Although 12 GB, 16 GB is recommended. While 32 GB in some rare cases will be sufficient for professional pentesters.

Storage

Many pentesting tools requires few disk space and works perfectly as well. Few pentesting tools need high storage.

As a general rule, you should go for at least 256 GB, while 512 GB is recommended, preferably SSD storage. It will be enough to store all pentesting tools and to conduct tests efficiently and result-oriented.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU): 

Although the GPU has no such link with pentesting, but it is relevant when a pentester is a gamer. If you want to play games on laptop with pentesting tools then it should be any Nvidia GPU with 1-2 GB V-RAM for robust performance.

Graphics Processing Unit for laptop

Remember, even you are not a game, GPU will deliver best graphic performance that can assist you to perform different pentesting tests etc.

Display/LCD Monitor

There are different screen sizes and qualities and everyone has its own preferences. While pentesting doesn’t require large screens to do the job. So, any standard laptop screen size like 13″ or 15″ will be good to go.

dispaly screen

If you prefer to display penetration test  results effectively on large screen then a laptop having 17″ Inches size with 170 degree IPS quality is recommended.

Recommended Laptop Specifications Table by Different Pentesting Softwares

Following is the hardware and software specifications from top and best pen testing tools.

SoftwareBest for Security threatMinimum SpecificationRecommended
Kali LinuxPentesting OS (Linux Distro), to check and build different Pentesting tools Intel Core i3, or AMD E1
2GB RAM, 20 GB Storage
High Definition GPU
Multi-Core CPU i3-i9 8 GB RAM ,50 GB Storage disk space (preferably SSD)
NessusVulnerability Scanner4.2 GHz cores ,4 GB RAM
30 GB disk space
8.2 GHz Multicore 8 8- 16 GB RAM
100 GB disk spce
WiresharkNetwork analyzerModern 32/64-bit (Intel/AMD CPU) ,512 MB RAM
500 MB Storage
Dual Core or Intel Core i3 – i9 CPU
2 GB RAM ,5 GB Storage
BeEFBrowser Exploitation ,Web-based attacksMac OSX or higher ,Ruby  2.5 or LaterSQLite 3.xNode.JS 10 or LaterWindows OS is not supported
NetsparkerWeb Vulnerabilities ScannerIntel 1.0 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 1 GB disk space disk space (Microsoft.NET Framework 4.7)Intel Dual-Core or Multicore i5 , AMD athlon or latest
2-4 GB RAM, 10 GB disk space or More
John The RipperPassword Security AuditN/AN/A

We have reviewed laptops from different brands and tried our best to recommend a system that can have a positive and unrivaled impact on the pentesting of pentesters. The laptop plays a vital role in your success, so choose it wisely. 


1. Asus Vivobook S15 – Best Laptop for Pentesting

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Screen Size Resolution: 15.6 Inches FHD (1920 X 1080)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX250

If you are looking for the best Laptop for Pentesting, the ASUS VivoBook S15 should be your first choice. It is an ideal laptop for users because of its glamorous design. VivoBook has a full HD display with 15.6 inches in size, finger sensors for easy login, and a camera present at the Laptop’s top. 

Asus Vivobook S15 has a high-quality audio system, making it easier for testers to work with some entertainment.

The backlit keyboard of Asus Vivobook S15 helps you to type for longer hours without any difficulty. The Laptop has a robust intel core i7 processor. Asus Vivobook S15 is an ideal laptop for multitasking due to turbo performance while working for long hours. It has 8 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage space for the pentesters to store data and download files for efficient working.

Asus Vivobook S15 consists of a lithium-polymer battery that provides super-fast charging and longer working hours. The S15 VivoBook has a USB type C HDMI port, USB 3.1, an SD card reader as well.

Pros
  • Super Wide HD display Screen of 15.6 Inches convenient for Multi-tests
  • Provides 256 GB of Storage
  • Maximum Screen Resolution 1920*1080 pixels
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Excellent battery life up to 15.5 hours
Cons
  • Quite expensive
  • The display is not bright enough, may suitable for low light working

2. Dell XPS 13 – Best Laptop for Pentesting

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Screen Size Resolution: 13.3 Inches FHD (3840 X 2160)
  • Graphics: UHD Graphics 620

Dell XPS 13 is another pentesting Laptop, having a small size with a modern and sleek design. When it comes to Pentesting, dell has the best series of laptops. it is the right choice for pen-testers. It comes with a 13.3 inches screen with 3940 x 2160p resolution. Simultaneously, the touch screen technology makes it even more useful.

it has 16GB RAM and provides storage of 512 GB. Storage is an essential factor to consider while choosing a laptop for Pentesting. However, you can multitask or customize it at once, according to your requirements. Moreover, its battery life is relatively better than any other Dell laptop and has 52WHr battery power.

Dell XPS 13 has a 10th Generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 Processor and can swiftly perform all your pentesting tests. The maximum available RAM is 32GB RAM and the hard disk of 1TB. Therefore, the user can customize the RAM and ROM accordingly. Its weight is light, which makes it portable. It has a 2.25mm webcam, a 3.5mm headphone port, a USB slot, and a micro SD card slot.

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Wonderful battery timing over 12 hours
  • On-screen writing feature
  • Best wifi connectivity with window 10 professional
  • Backlit chiclet English keyboard
  • Comes with Storage is 512GB
Cons
  • No fingerprint sensor

3. Dell XPS 15 –  Most Stunning Choice

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Screen Size Resolution: 15.6 Inches FHD (3840 X 2160)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce

Whenever we talk about the best Laptop for penetration test, the Dell brand comes to our mind, as it has many prominent features. It is the best Laptop for ethical hackers due to its size and design. 

The OLED display of the Dell XPS 15 pentesting laptop has self-lighting pixels that can switch off completely to achieve perfect black for significantly higher contrast. It has a 15.6-inch display screen with a stunning OLED screen and ultra HD display having (3840 x 2160) resolution.

The new XPS 15 webcam isn’t just smaller but also delivers better video calling quality. The anti-reflective screen, joined with superior 500-nit brightness on the UHD display, frees you to enjoy your entertainment outdoors.

Processors:

The XPS 15 is powered by the latest 9th generation intel corei7 processors having 8 cores and 16 threads. The Laptop will deliver the ultimate power and best performance for hacking and programming.

Memory and Storage:

Dell XPS 15 has 16 GB of memory with a bandwidth of 2666MHz, and storage is up to a 2TB solid-state drive. It will provide plenty of storage room and higher performance.

Pros
  • Slim in Size and with Sleek Design
  • 4k Ultra HD display is Idea for Ethical Hacking
  • 15.6 inch OLED Display
  • Graphics Coprocessor is NVIDIA GeForce
  • good quality speakers
  • three USB-C ports, two with Thunderbolt 3 support
Cons
  • Fan Makes noise during extensive processing
  • Few users experienced Overheating Issues

4. Alienware AAW17R4-7004SLV-PUS 17

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: 7th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Screen Size Resolution: 17.3 Inches FHD (2560 X 1440)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

Alienware is known for its classically designed laptops. Alienware AAW 17 R4 is one of the best models of the Alienware series. Its legendary creativity is enough to use for in-depth penetration testing. Alienware AAW 17 R4 has a metal body, QHD display with 17.3 inches screen, which is best for ethical hackers.

It has Intel’s Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM that enhances its efficiency. Its features are enough to justify its price, and it would take the credit for it. Alienware AAW 17 R4 offers up to  1TB hard drive and provides a 256 GB SSD that is sufficient.

Suppose you’re a dedicated penetration tester who would love to work day and night. Alienware AAW 17 R4 comprises a backlit keyboard feature, which is very useful for working in the dark.

The most helpful thing about this Laptop is its thermal design so that the computer does not heat up even with an immense workload.

Pros
  • Thermal design Keeps the device Cool
  • Favorite 17” Screen Size for Ethical Hackers
  • The very responsive trackpad
  • Excellent processing speed with Core i7 CPU
  • 16 GB memory with 2400 MHz
  • Has a larger and more effective speaker box
Cons
  • Has No optical Drive
  • It is quite heavy

5. Acer Nitro 5 Laptop – Best For Gaming and Pentesting

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Screen Size Resolution: 15.6 Inches
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

The Acer has developed another best penetration testing Laptop, called Acer Nitro 5 is also a perfect laptop for gaming and pentesting. As it has 7th Generation intel core i5 processor power, Acer Nitro 5 should be your first choice. Acer Nitro 5 has an impressive 15.6 full HD IPS display. Intel’s latest processor model has made it the best budget laptop for pentesting.

Nitro 5 is powered by a 7th generation intel i5 processor (Up to 4.1 GHz) on which you can quickly and easily perform testings and play games as well. It has 8GB memory and 256 GB storage and battery life up to 8.5 hours.

The fast, powerful Geforce GTX graphics integrate Acer Nitro 5 with 4GB (GDDR5 video) memory. The GPU will help to assess several cyberattacks with perfect video rendering.

Acer Nitro 5 is powered by a dark bright red backlit keyboard. It illuminates this device’s keyboard key which is quite smooth in use.

Pros
  • Bright Screen Display with 4 GB Graphics Memory
  • Reason price with Awesome Build Quality
  • Battery timing is right up to 8.5 hours
  • CPU supports up to 4.1GHz Speed
  • wi-fi 6 support
Cons
  • Available in 1 color
  • When buying, be careful while selecting sellers, they could deliver defective ones

6. MSI GS66 Stealth 10SGS –  Affordable Premium Choice for Ethical Hacking

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Screen Size Resolution: 15.6 Inches

MSI GS66 Stealth stays true to its name with matte black and classic profile design. It offers five times faster and smoother processing and gaming visuals experience. MSI GS66 has a wide view angle display with an Ultra-Thin body.

MSI has done justice with its GS66 Stealth and comes up with enhanced features to increase the efficiency of work done.

GS66 comprises the world’s thinnest sharp-edged fan blades of 0.1mm. New coolers enhance the airflow and prevent it from heating up. It comes up with a 15.6 inches screen, the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor, and Win 10 PRO Dynaudio Speakers.

GS66 has 32GB RAM and provides a 512 GB SSD that is more than enough to store all the required data. GS66 has an expandable SSD and a flexible memory slot at the laptop’s bottom for future upgrades. 

Last but not least, its power outlasts your opponents with the largest 99.9Whr Li-Polymer 230W Slim battery. It can be charged with a portable power bank and through Thunderbolt 3.

Pros
  • LED quality 15.6 inches Display Screen
  • FHD Anti-Glare Wide View Angle Display
  • 720p HD Webcam with Anti Ghost keys
  • Win 10 PRO Dynaudio Speakers
  • lucrative 32GB RAM with 512GB of ROM for Penetration testing
  • Comes with Windows 10
Cons
  • You may need to update the BIOS and EC firmware to fix power and charging issues.
  • It can overheat after immense processing

7. Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Generation

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: 5th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Screen Size Resolution: 12.3 Inches
  • Graphics: Intel Iris

Microsoft surface pro is the most accomplished laptop with the convertible feature. It is a high-quality product. Microsoft surface wholly redesigned from the inside with all custom parts. Microsoft Surface Pro delivers more battery power with a long-lasting time duration.

Microsoft surface pro 5 is powered by 5th generation intel core i7. It has 16 GB RAM and 512 GB storage. It is versatile and more performance and also has a superior display. Surface Pro has a pixel sense display support pen and touch.

It has more battery life than surface 3. Its keyboard is a smooth and productive workflow. The Surface Pro offers vast customizability and becomes the best budget laptop for pentesting with Core M CPU, 4GB, and 128 GB storage.

Pros
  • More battery life with a long-lasting duration of up to 13.5 hours
  • It has a 12.3 display screen with 2 working mods
  • Comes with the fastest laptop-grade processor
  • Can upgrade storage up to1024GB
  • Rich colors, with 2736×1824 Screen resolution
  • New Arc Mouse, with Signature Type Cover, and Surface Pen
Cons
  • Microsoft give 1 TB = 2x 512GB SSDs
  • The PWM Flicker may cause Eyestrain

8. Dell Inspiron 15 – 10th Gen Intel Core i7-8GB – 512SSD

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Screen Size Resolution: 15.6 Inches FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • Graphics: 4 GB

Dell Inspiron 15 is an outstanding laptop from the Dell series with some fantastic and unique features. It comes up with a fingerprint sensor, a touch screen, and a backlit keyboard. Moreover, the best thing about this pentesting laptop is budget-friendly with premium features.

The 1080p resolution display provides a quality presentation with the actual colors and most delicate picture details. Dell Inspiron 15 laptop is perfect for Pentesting, daily use, and business keepings. 

It provides up to 512 GB SSD storage, which is more than enough for pen-testers. The battery timing of this device is 5 hours per charge, which is impressive for this price. Dell Inspiron 15 possesses a 10th Gen Intel Quad Core i5 processor having up to 3.4 GHz speed.

Dell Inspiron 15 has an ultra-slim and lightweight body. It has 8 GB DDR4 memory that helps in multitasking and boosts efficiency. The touch screen feature makes it more comfortable to use for Pentesters without lagging and hanging.

The lithium-polymer battery lasts 5 hours with heavy usage with a single charge. This device’s connectivity options in 2x USB 3.1 ports, 1x USB 2.0 port, and 1x HDMI. Moreover, it comprises one audio in and an audio outline, built-in stereo speakers, and Windows 10 Home operating system.

Pros
  • The 10-key numeric pad can easily keep working with4.80 pounds Weight
  • Available with 4 GB GPU and
  • 15.6 inches LED Screen with 1920 x 1080 Display resolution
  • Intel Core 10th Generation processor up to 3.4 GHz
  • 16 GB memory and 512 GB of storage
  • Appealing design
  • Backlit keyboard for comfortable typing
  • High storage capacity
Cons
  • Few users found keyboard issues after some time

9. Dell XPS Thin and Light – Best Slim Laptop for Ethical Hackers

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: 7th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Screen Size Resolution: 15.6 Inches FHD (3840x 2160)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

The new and next innovation of the dell brand is dell XPS with a 15.6-inch laptop screen. This Laptop has an infinity edge display and its maximum screen display screen space by accommodating a 15.6-inch screen. It is slim and light in weight.

The Dell XPS is one of the world’s lightest 15-inch laptops with versatile features.

It is powered by the most powerful XPS laptop as well as the latest 7th Gen Intel Quad Core processors and a 4GB GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. It has 16 GB memory and 1TB storage solid-state drive storage.

The display technology is equipped with the UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) touch display and with 6 million more pixels than the Full HD display and 3 million more than the MacBook Pro. It is considered the best laptop for ethical hackers with the best display.

Pros
  • Available with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB GPU
  • Extremely small and light laptop with razor-thin bezel Shape
  • 350 nit brightness quality, the display is better and brighter than a typical laptops
  • beautiful, sturdy design
  • standout keyboard
  • Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) Infinity border touch display
Cons
  • The camera is placed at bottom of the display
  • One user experienced ventilation compromising performance

10. Newest Acer Aspire 5 – Best Laptop for Hacking and Programming

Best Laptop for Pentesting
  • CPU: Acer
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Screen Size Resolution: 15.6 Inches

Acer Aspire 5 is an expeditious and economical laptop for Pentesters. The device comes up with AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Mobile Processor to perform your tasks swiftly. Moreover, the 15.6 inches screen provides a color intelligence system, and the FHD IPS display presents stunning visuals with precise details.

Acer is offering a budget laptop that comprises up to 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD storage. Moreover, Acer Aspire 5 laptop has up to 2TB storage capacity, which is rare. It is designed explicitly with Acer BlueLightShield technology to protect user eyes from harmful blue rays. 

Pentesting is a process where you have to work consistently, and this is the best laptop for hacking and programming. Turbo Boost helps to speed up the CPU to 3.5GHz. Acer Aspire 5 impressive battery life. This laptop has a Lithium-ion battery that can efficiently workaround 7.5 hours of heavy work. 

Pros
  • Budget-friendly with a thin 17.95mm realistic appearance
  • Built-in Eyecare with blue light shield technology
  • Fingerprint sensor for a faster and secure experience
  • Backlit keyboard to maintain the work serenity
  • AMD Ryzen 3 Dual-Core Processor delivers fast processing
  • High storage capacity up to 2TB available
Cons
  • Default storage is Low Capacity

Conclusion

The overall winner in the “best laptop for pentesting” race is Dell XPS 15 and the runner-up is Alienware AAW-17R4. Although other laptops do best as we have picked them recommendations of pen-testing tools and software.

Remember that performance of any machine like a laptop does not depend on hardware spec only, but many other factors as well. So it is advised that go through positive and critical reviews, and seller reputation before purchasing.

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