When my team first said to me, “You should write about the best laptop for hacking,” I was like, “Nah, I’m not going to jail.” And neither should you, really.

But you know what, there is such a thing as white-hat hacking and people who make a decent career out of cybersecurity and penetration testing (checking company systems for vulnerabilities before the malicious hackers find them and bring the organization down).

So if you’re an ethical hacker looking for solutions to software problems, this is for you. I’ve researched tons of laptop brands to bring you some of the best laptops for white-hat hacking.  

Best Laptops For Hacking

Best Laptop for Hacking
Laptop NameEditor's ScoreProcessorPrice
1. Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X110/10Core i7
2. MSI Extreme Stealth GS759.9/10Core i7
3. Acer Predator Triton 7009.5/10Core i7
4. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex9.5/10Core i7
5. HP Omen9/10AMD Ryzen 7
6. ASUS VivoBook F512DA-EB519/10AMD Ryzen 5
7. Apple MackBook Air8.5/10Core i3
8. Microsoft Surface 3 8.5/10Core i5
9. Dell Vostro 15 35908/10Core i7
10. HP EliteBook 850 G68/10Core i7

Best Laptops For Hacking In-Depth Reviews

1. Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1

“Best Overall”

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Home and...
  • 【Upgraded】 Seal is opened for...
  • 【Powerful Performance with Intel Core...
  • 【High Speed and Multitasking】 16GB...
  • 【Enormous Storage】 4TB PCIe NVMe...
  • 【Authorized Docztorm Bundle】...
Pros
  • Versatile
  • Durable build
  • Stellar keyboard
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Graphics could be better

For many professional hackers, Lenovo ThinkPad laptops are their go-to machines for hacking. There is a reason it made it to the top of the list of the best laptop for hacking. No, these machines weren’t built specifically for hacking, but they run Linux Distros far more easily than models.  Add the high-end hardware and software and you’ve got a winning combination.

Performance

The X1 Yoga is powered by a 10th generation Core i7-10610U, that’s power-efficient, supports higher memory speeds and whose cores clock between 1.5GHz and 4.9GHZ. Hey, there’s even a Turbo Boost feature which increases processing speed whenever there’s a CPU-intensive task being handled.

Couple the processor with 16 of RAM and you’ve got a machine that can run pen-testing, cybersecurity, well and even hacking seamlessly. The machine also comes with 4TB storage space which is perfect for installing all the hacking software you need to do your work and quick retrieval of information.

Portability

At 3lb and measuring only 0.6 inches in thickness, this machine boasts a lightweight and slim profile. You can walk around the house with it, take it to a client’s site, the library, or anywhere you desire. It will fit nicely into a standard backpack and even leave room for other stuff.

The battery is incredible, lasting around 8 hours on a single charge. But you may want to slash that by an hour or two when you’re working on power-hungry tasks. We recommend limiting background activities like listening to music to maximize battery life.

Display

This laptop has rounded edges and looks very sleek in an iron-grey color. The side bezels are pleasingly narrow while the top and bottom bezels are somewhat larger to accommodate the webcam and company logo respectively.

The 14-inch display has an amazing 2560 x 1440 resolution and I can’t emphasize how awesome videos, movies, and games look here. The colors are simply superb and the images crisp. The screen supports touch and stylus input which means you can use the Active Pen to sketch, write notes, or annotate documents. 

Discrete graphics would have been the topping on the cake, but the graphics here are integrated. They are decent and can load graphics-heavy pages and even run apps.

Other Considerations

The backlit keyboard is well-spaced and curved keys that conform to your fingers. The key travel feels good and there’s enough resistance to make it comfortable for typing and crunching in codes. The touchpad keeps up with swipes and taps with much precision.

External connectivity options include two 3.0 USB ports, two USB 3.2 ports, two Thunderbolt3 (Type-C) ports, an HDMI port, and a microphone/headphone combo jack. For internal connections, you’ll have access to Wi-Fi 6 AX201 Wifi and Bluetooth 5.0.

Bottom Line

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a fine, fully-featured machine that you can use to perform penetration testing, ethical hacking activities, office applications, and casual use. It’s lightweight, looks sleek, and has powerful specs, which is what the master hacker ordered.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 10/10
  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10610U
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 4 TB
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Display: 14 inches
  • Battery life : 8 hours
  • Screen resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics Integrated
  • OS : Windows 10 Pro

2. MSI Extreme Stealth GS75

“A High-end Option” 

MSI Extreme GS75 Stealth 10SGS-610...
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080...
  • Processor: Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake...
  • Memory: 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3200MHz |...
  • Warranty: 1-Year MSI USA Warranty Parts...
  • PROMOTION: Exclusive Bundle ($150...
Pros
  • Powerful processor
  • Large display
  • Good battery life
  • Plenty of connectivity options
Cons
  • It’s heavy

Splurging on a high-end laptop gives you access to some of the most powerful laptops on the market. The MSI GS75 is one such rig, providing super-fast password cracking or hashing times. And yes, it comes with all the bells and whistles you can hope for in a hacking laptop. 

Performance

Under the hood, you’ll find the all-powerful 10th generation Core i7-10875H processor with eight cores and speeds of between 2.3GHz and 5.1GHz. This processor is matched with 32GB of RAM delivering the kind of power, speed, and efficiency that hackers, gamers, and other power users crave in a high-end productivity machine.

For most people, 32GB will be overkill, but I don’t believe there’s such a thing as too much RAM. And seeing as you’re spending a small fortune on this laptop, future-proofing isn’t such a bad thing. 

2TB SSD storage is plenty much for downloading, installing, and running Kali Linux or any other OS of your choice along with multiple other hacking software. Without any hiccups, I must add.

Portability

You don’t just need the best laptop for hacking, you want it to be equally portable, and easy to carry. No? At 5.29lb this laptop is one of the heaviest machines on our list. This kind of weight is expected in a gaming machine, as the manufacturers must make room for cooling fans. The laptop is still portable and at a small fee, you can buy a backpack along with the laptop.

As far as the battery life, you get up to 7 hours which is pretty close to a full day. Again, depending on the intensity of the activities the life can be shorter or longer. Still, I recommend taking the power adapter with you.

Display

The GS75 has a smooth matte finish with gold trims along the lid, hinges, the vents along the sides, and on the touchpad’s outline. Overall, the laptop looks and feels premium. The top and bottom bezels are larger while the side bezels are quite narrow that they sort of disappear when you’re immersed in a movie or gaming. 

Unlike most laptops for hacking that stick to 15-inches wide displays, this laptop features a 17.3-inches wide display that’s perfect for anyone who likes larger displays. And thanks to the 1920 x 1080 resolution you can enjoy vivid color, good contrast, and clear images, whether you’re reading text or looking at images.

The dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics provide incredible graphics quality here. In the graphics world, Max-Q refers to the sweet spot between heat production and graphics performance. By capping the graphic’s card performance manufacturers can fit high-end graphics cards into smaller spaces without excess heat production.

Other Considerations

The keyboard has RGB lighting beneath each key and with all the different colors radiating upwards, it can feel like you’re working on a rainbow. The layout is spacious with decent key travel and feedback making it comfortable to use. 

I noticed that the touchpad is wider than you’ll find on other laptops and it’s placed smack in the middle of the keyboard. While this gives the entire keyboard a nice symmetrical look, it also means that your right hand will be resting or coming into contact with the touchpad. This can lead to accidental clicks and cursor moves as you work.

MSI has thrown in as many ports as they possibly imagine. You get one Thunderbolt3 port, two USB 3.2 (Type-C) ports, three USB 3.2 (Type-A) ports, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a mic-in slot, a headphone-out slot, and a microSD card reader slot. The laptop connects to LAN, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.1 technology.

Bottom Line

Overall this is a powerful and capable machine that can deliver results speedily whether you’re pen-testing or using brute force to crack passwords. With up-to-date specs, the GS75 is future proof and an excellent option for work and play. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.9/10
  • Processor: 10th Gen Core i7-10875H
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 2TB SSD
  • Weight: 5.29 lbs
  • Display: 17.3 inches
  • Battery life : 7 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  • OS : Windows 10 Pro

3. Acer Predator Triton 700

“Sturdy Build”

Acer Predator Triton 700 PT715-51-732Q...
  • 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 with MAX-Q...
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit...
  • 32GB DDR4 Memory & 512GB PCIe SSD in...
  • Dual All-Metal Aero Blade 3D Fans with 5...
Pros
  • Attractive design
  • Robust cooling system
  • Sturdy
  • Powerful machine
Cons
  • No resting space for your palms
  • Touchpad tends to get hot

Preying on others requires a machine that can take use and abuse without falling apart easily. That’s what the Acer Predator Triton 700 offers you. This beast of a machine is built using high-quality that can take rough handling and still come out shining.

Performance

This laptop runs on the high-end quad-core 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ found in many gaming and high-performance machines. It provides high operational speeds of between 2.8GHz to 3.8GHz that can be overclocked. Further, it comes with AeroBlade 3D Fans to keep the laptop’s components cool when you’re running intensive programs

Just like the MSI GS75 laptop, you get 32GB of RAM allowing you to run multiple virtual machines or expand your hacking activities, and still receive fast responses to your commands. 512GB seems low considering other machines offer TB storage but there are several hacking software that run on low specs and even those that require more will still have space here. 

Portability

Triton 700 tips the scales at 5.4lb, a figure that you’ll find in many gaming laptops. It leans on the heavier side but is still portable. So, if you need to work away from your designated workspace, just put it in a backpack and be on your way.

The battery is quite poor as the machine can only run for two hours unplugged. It’s a gaming laptop, after all. That said, you can notice a longer battery life when you’re not carrying out any intensive programs. Just don’t leave the house without the charger.

Display

This obsidian black laptop with angular sides is tastefully finished and looks expensive. Even though it’s slim, the Triton 700 feels very sturdy in your hands. You won’t be worrying about flexing or any such thing here.

The wide bezels are outdated, although we can get past that and focus on the 1080P screen that looks sharp, colorful, and offers wide viewing angles. For the hacker, this also means no blurry-looking images or texts 

Nvidia’s energy-efficient Max-Q tech allowed Acer to equip this machine with the powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 while maintaining a slim chassis. This highly performing graphics card with 8GB of video memory VRAM renders graphics beautifully and contributes positively towards the laptop’s overall hacking abilities.

Other Considerations

I don’t want to get ahead of myself now, but we’ve got to talk about the touchpad’s unique placement. The glass touchpad is placed above the keyboard, softly illuminated by blue LED light, giving you a peek into the potent cooling fans below. While it looks gorgeous, there’s an ongoing debate over its practicality.

The touchpad feels smooth and is very responsive, but will take lots of getting used to, especially if you’re accustomed to conventional keyboards that have touchpads at the bottom. If the touchpad feels weird, you can use a mouse.

The mechanical keyboard is a delight to work with. You’ll experience deeply satisfying clicks with strong tactile feedback that’s good even for long hours of use. The per-key RGB lighting is customizable and feels luxurious. 

Connectivity options are plenty here. You get one Thunderbolt3 (Type-C) port, three USB 3.0 ports, one 2.0 USB port, one display port, an HDMI port, and an Ethernet port. Wi-Fi connectivity is also available.

Bottom Line

The Acer Triton 700 runs on a powerful processor backed by a solid graphics card that delivers the kind of power and speed you need to bust passwords and penetrate systems. And it looks absolutely gorgeous doing it.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.5/10
  • Processor: 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Weight: 5.4 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 2 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 with MAX-Q
  • OS : Windows 10

4. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex

“Great Battery Life”

Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 13.3”...
  • QLED DISPLAY - Stream and browse on a...
  • SLIM 360 DESIGN - Seamlessly convert...
  • POWERHOUSE PROCESSOR - Enjoy minimal...
  • LONG-LASTING BATTERY - Work and stream...
  • BLUETOOTH PEN - Make your screen a...
Pros
  • Good battery life
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Quality build
  • Gorgeous display
Cons
  • Limited connectivity options
  • You need a special pin to remove a memory card

Imagine this, you’ve spent several hours racking your brain trying to penetrate a system. You wipe the sweat off your brow, glad that you’re finally making headway, then the laptop turns black. No, it’s not a black screen of death, you’re out of battery power and all your efforts have gone down the drain.

Performance

This machine may look dainty but it packs a powerful quad-core 10th generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor that is used in high-end laptops because it supports higher RAM and clock speeds. 

Coupled with 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD storage, it meets and exceeds the minimum requirements for KaliLinux OS and other hacking software. You can run multiple virtual machines and conduct pen-testing without experiencing any lags.

Portability

The Galaxy Book Flex passes all the portability checks weighing in at only 2.56lb and measuring 0.51 inches thick. It can fit in a standard backpack and more importantly, you can use it on your lap or carry it in your hands without straining.

As we were saying earlier, the last thing you want is to run out of juice in the middle of a job. According to Samsung, the laptop can run for 20 hours on a single charge, which may be true for non-intensive tasks. Our hacking tests gave 10 to 12 hours which is pretty good for a hacking machine.

Display

We have to give Samsung the thumbs up for designing such a sleek looking machine. It’s got clean lines, sharp corners, and gleaming edges that look very polished. The royal blue color is a sight for sore eyes. A refreshing change from the silver, gray, and black colored laptops we see every day.

The 13.3-inch screen is encased in mostly narrow bezels and supports touch and stylus input. You can get your creativity going even as you hack into company systems (ethically, of course). I love the 1080P QLED display that delivers stunning colors, beautiful contrasts, and greater brightness.

The graphics are integrated, which may feel like a bummer, but then, this laptop uses Iris Plus graphics. They are much better than UHD graphics and render decent graphics.

Other Considerations

The backlit keyboard feels roomy which makes typing comfortable, but a dedicated number pad is glaring missing. The keys are flat but offer a pleasant travel with clear feedback and they are quiet. The touchpad has a smooth surface that is responsive to commands including any drag-and-drop movements that you need to make.

Connectivity connections are rather limited here as you only get two Thunderbolt3 ports, one USB (Type-C) port, one headphone/mic combo, and a microSD slot. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is also available.

Bottom Line

The Galaxy Book Flex is a visually appealing convertible laptop that delivers the right amount of specs and hardware configurations for hacking needs. If you want a beefy machine that is stable, lightweight and has a good battery life, give this machine another look.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.5/10
  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Weight: 2.56 lbs
  • Display: 13.3 inches
  • Battery life : 10 to 12 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Plus
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

5. HP Omen

“Best Laptop for Hacking”

HP - OMEN Gaming 15.6" Laptop - AMD...
  • AMD Ryzen 7 Processor Imagine, design...
  • 8GB system memory for advanced...
  • 512GB Solid State Drive (PCI-e) Save...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics...
  • Weighs 5.42 lbs. and measures 0.9" thin...
Pros
  • Clean appealing look
  • Sturdy keyboard
  • Great graphics card
  • Reasonable battery life
Cons
  • White only backlighting
  • The number pad is missing

Gaming laptops are the first choice for professional hackers for good reason. They have all the hardware and power needed to crack codes, passwords, and hack security systems. And at that moment when the hacker is not busy, he can indulge in a high-end game that matches his skill set. Let’s look at what the HP Omen gaming laptop has to offer.

Performance

This is the first laptop on our list that relies on an AMD Ryzen processor. AMD is a formidable opponent and this Ryzen 7 processor combines raw power and intelligence to anticipate your hacking needs and deliver effortlessly.

Paired with 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD storage space, you can install and run the hacking browser of your choice, retrieve information speedily, and multitask without worrying about the system throttling or overheating.

Speaking of overheating, the HP Omen uses tempest cooling technology that’s made up of a 12V fan power, 3-sided venting, and 5-way airflow. It’s a great way to ensure the laptop remains cool under pressure.

Portability

Just like other gaming laptops on this list, this machine leans on the heavier side. It weighs 5.42lb, but interestingly, is only 0.89inches thick. Okay, so it’s not the slimmest of laptops, but with these dimensions, you can easily fit the machine into a backpack and get going.

You may be able to extract up to 8 hours of use between recharges while gaming and we anticipate roughly the same amount of time for hacking activities. Simpler activities just might leave you with enough time for some gaming.

Display

This HP Omen gaming machine is unlike many other gaming laptops that come dressed in frills to inspire gamers (I think). It has clean lines with squared-off edges, is devoid of color accents, and its Mica Silver color adds to its premium professional vibe.

Apart from the bottom bezel, all other bezels are pleasingly narrow so they don’t interrupt your viewing. Within the 15.6-inch display, you have a 1920 x 1080 resolution that delivers bright, colorful, and sharp images and texts and provides wide viewing angles.

But I’m more interested in the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics that are faster, cooler, and quieter. The graphics card is optimized to support multiple activities simultaneously. This way, you can hack systems (or game) and stream YouTube videos smoothly. 

Other Considerations

The professional look extends to the laptop’s keyboard. We would normally expect customizable RGB lighting intrinsic to gaming laptops, we get a white-only keyboard. It’s not a deal-breaker, to the contrary, it’s a welcome change from the red lighting we see in gaming laptops. 

There’s no dedicated number pad, but the keys are properly spaced and even include full-size arrow keys. The key travel is decent and with tactile feedback which makes the keyboard super comfortable to use. The buttonless touchpad is smooth and responds effectively to commands. 

Bottom Line

This laptop is targeted at serious gamers who are passionate about winning on the battlefield and in the cybersecurity world. It’s a graphics-driven machine with a powerful processor and superb battery life. And who knows, this machine’s professional look just might project on to you.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Weight: 5.42 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 8 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

6. ASUS VivoBook F512DA-EB51

“Budget Buy”

ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook 15 Thin And...
  • 15.6 inch FHD 4 way NanoEdge bezel...
  • Powerful AMD Quad Core Ryzen 5 3500U...
  • AMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete graphics with...
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with...
Pros
  • Clean modern look
  • Lightweight
  • Fingerprint sensor for privacy
  • Ergohinge lift
Cons
  • Fans become audible when running intensive tasks
  • No Thunderbolt3 support

The ASUS F512DA VivoBook is a fantastic addition to the Vivobook series that we’ve written about from time to time. This tells you how versatile the machine is. Perhaps, more importantly, is that it’s one of the most reasonably-priced laptops that supports Kali Linux OS and a host of other hacking software.

Performance

This VivoBook laptop is powered by a mid-range AMD Quad Core Ryzen 5 3500U processor. The second AMD CPU we’re looking at today. It’s an excellent processor for general computing duties with the ability to run multiple apps including some demanding programs.

The processor works with 8GB of RAM and 256GB space. Overall, these specs are much lower than what we’ve seen in other machines, which is to be expected given the price tag. However, they easily meet the minimum requirements for both Kali Linux and Parrot OS and other hacking tools as well.

Portability

The VivoBook F512DA machine weighs 3.5lb and is only 0.78-inches thick. It sports such travel-friendly dimensions, that you can slip it into your backpack for on-the-go hacking work. You can be sitting at your favorite coffee joint sipping your favorite drink as you pry open computer systems.

As you sip your drink, keep in mind that the battery lasts roughly five hours unplugged. I would recommend taking the power adapter along when you step out of the house.

Display

This laptop bears some of the markings of the higher-end ZenBook line. It sports rounded edges and a textured slate gray finish that looks very chic. The NanoEdge display boasts 5.7mm side bezels which in turn make for immersive visuals.

The 15.6-inch screen comes with 1920 x1080 screen resolution offering the vivid colors and sharp images that we’ve grown accustomed to in 1080P screens. The AMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete graphics are designed to handle modern games, and render decent graphics on this budget laptop.

Other Considerations

This machine features a precision-engineered Ergolift hinge that fives the keyboard a 2-degree tilt making this one of the most comfortable keyboards to type on. If you spend plenty of hours on your laptop, you may have experienced pain in your wrists. This slight raise helps deal with that.

The backlit keyboard has generously-spaced keys (Numpad is a little cramped though) and we found the key travel somewhat shallow. But the Ergolift sort of makes up for this allowing you to enjoy some springiness from the keys. The touchpad is also spacious and responsive to gestures and commands.

There are multiple connectivity options here including one USB Type-C port, one USB 3.2 port, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, and a microSD card reader slot. Internally, you have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Bottom Line

This laptop is a low-cost budget solution for anyone who is thinking about getting into white-hat hacking. It’s stylish, lightweight, fast enough to support entry-level hacking activities, and has a fantastic keyboard for comfortable typing.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor: AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5 3500U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 5 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

7. Apple MackBook Air

“Small Display”

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina...
  • Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with...
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
  • Tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Fast SSD storage
Pros
  • Looks very chic
  • High-quality build
  • Minimal glare
  • Affordable
Cons
  • The processor could use an upgrade
  • Limited connectivity

“For your eyes, only” doesn’t just belong to the film industry, a smaller display means prying eyes will have limited knowledge of what you’re doing. This is especially important when you’re dealing with sensitive stuff, and let’s face it, hacking, whether ethical or not, is a sensitive affair.

Performance

Yes, Macs are great for hacking and this Apple MacBook Air is powered by a 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor. Its processor is a mid-range CPU perfect for mainstream laptops and can tackle lots of activities.

The CPU is matched with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD storage space. This is not the machine you want to use for brute force password breaking since it relies on an i3 processor, which tends to be slow, but it’s perfectly okay for light hacking work.

Portability

This is one of those laptops that you can throw into your bag and completely forget you were carrying it. It weighs a paltry 2.8lb and measures roughly 0.6 inches in thickness. But it’s too hot to forget, so of course, you’re going to remember, but hardly feel the weight of it.

Battery life is pegged at 12 hours for web browsing, so you’ll get much less while hacking. I recommend working with 6 to 7 hours before the machine bows. It does feel like a full day of work, but if you’re going out, throw in the charger as a precaution.

Display

This is Apple so you can expect that the overall design and build quality will be top-notch. The MacBook Air doesn’t disappoint. It looks very classy thanks to its impressively slim profile, narrow bezels, and rose gold color. 

The 13.3-inch high-resolution retina display delivers life-like images with high contrast ratios. Whites look white and blacks are blacker. Texts are extremely clear too. The retina display also minimizes glare and reduces eye strain that results from staring at your laptop for lengthy periods.

The processor comes with integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics which are faster compared to the regular Intel HD graphics. They also support many modern games, which can be a fine way to pass time when you’re on a break.

Other Considerations

Apple has equipped this laptop with what they refer to as a Magic Keyboard. It feels sturdy, responsive, and has a deeper travel. You’ll love typing on this laptop, even for lengthy periods. The touchpad is placed in the middle of the keyboard and responds precisely to whatever commands you throw at it.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex, connectivity options are few. You only get two Thunderbolt3 (Type-C) ports and one USB 3.1 port. They are few but the Thunderbolt3 ports support charging and Displayport. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is available.

Bottom Line

If you can’t stand people trying to peep at your screen to see what you’re up to. The MacBook Air has a perfectly-sized display to keep them out. It’s highly portable, stunning, and a good option for light hacking work.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i3
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs
  • Display: 13 inches
  • Battery life : 12 hours
  • Screen resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
  • OS : Mac Os

8. Microsoft Surface 3

“Best Core i5 Laptop for Hacking” 

Pros
  • Awesome display quality
  • Sleek
  • Satisfying keyboard
  • Portable
Cons
  • More ports would be good

Many experts consider the Surface 3 as Microsoft’s answer to Apple MacBook Air. Here, we consider it a versatile machine with a solid processor capable of running all kinds of day to day tasks including the heavy stuff like video editing, gaming, pen-testing, and other hacking activities.

Performance

Surface 3 is powered by the 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G7 processor. This upper mid-tier processor is power-efficient and capable of carrying out computing tasks at a decent speed.

It works with 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD storage for buttery smooth performance, from downloading, installing, and running hacking software to opening multiple web pages without blinking. It meets the threshold for hacking OS, web browsers, and several other tools.

Portability

There is much to love about this laptop and its weight is one of them. It weighs 2.79lb just like the MacBook Air we looked at above. Its slim profile and travel-friendly specs are great for the on go computing and hacking.

With over 11 hours of battery life, you can browse, stream movies, and work without worrying about the laptop shutting down after a little use. How about hacking? Well, you’ll want to cut that time by 3 or 4 hours for a more realistic time. 

Display

I have always thought that Surface 3 looks like the kind of device you pull out of a Louis Vuitton bag, or something like that. It’s smooth rounded edges and matte black metallic finish oozes class in every way.

The bezels encompassing the 13.5-inch PixelSense display could use some trimming. Even so, you get an impressive 2256 x 1504 resolution that delivers razor-sharp graphics and texts. The level of detail on this screen is much better than on a 1080P screen and nothing short of gorgeous.

Before I move to graphics, I must mention that the screen supports stylus input which is perfect for highlighting your hacking reports. The integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics that come with the Core i5-1035G7 processor work fast and facilitate the smooth rendering of graphics. It also supports casual gaming as well.

Other Considerations

The keyboard feels sturdy the keys well-spaced so that your fingers will jump from one key to another with ease. The keys feel cushy, are soft to touch bouncy, quiet, and have decent key travel that depresses with a satisfying thud. The touchpad is as good as the keyboard, it executes commands with precision and has a gratifying thud as you click it

Once again we see limitations in connectivity options, which may be a compromise for the ultra-thin chassis. There is one USB-C port, one USB-A port, one surface connect port, and a headphone jack. The laptop is compatible with Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax and Bluetooth 5.0 technology.

Bottom Line

From home and office users to students looking for a laptop that they can use for part-time hacking activities, we submit this laptop for consideration. It’s lightweight, has a good battery life, meets requirements for hacking software, and is, classy too. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Weight: 2.79 lbs
  • Display: 13.5 inches
  • Battery life : 11 hours
  • Screen resolution: 2256 x 1504 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

9. Dell Vostro 15 3590

“Tons of Storage”

Dell Vostro 15 3590 Home and Business...
  • 【Upgraded】 Seal is opened for...
  • 【Powerful Performance with Intel Core...
  • 【High Speed and Multitasking】 64GB...
  • 【Enormous Storage】 4TB PCIe NVMe...
  • Includes Dell Universal Dock -...
Pros
  • Lots of space
  • Upgradeable memory and hardware
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Sizeable connectivity options
Cons
  • Poor battery life

The Dell brand is a respectable brand in the hacking industry. It’s for anyone looking for an affordable and practical machine that you can use for hacking activities feeling like you’re hurting it. Better yet, it carries plenty of memory and storage space to fit and run hacking software seamlessly.

Performance

Vostro 15 is driven by the upper-mid-range 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510U processor typically found in mainstream notebooks. It supports higher memory and faster clock speeds for better performance.

Paired with 64GB of RAM and 4TB SSD storage, this machine is specially designed for running most hacking OS including Kali Linux. You can download, install, and run extra VM ware and tools for expanded activities. You’ll still have plenty of space left over for installing games, or storing files, photos and expanding your music library.

Portability

Vostro 15 is heavy compared to other laptops we’ve reviewed here. It weighs 5lb so you’ll feel its weight when you carry it. That said, it remains a portable machine and you love the nomadic lifestyle like me, slip it in a backpack and get going.

The battery life is rather low, offering roughly 4 hours on a single charge. According to the manufacturer’s site, this laptop has an optional Peak Shift feature that switches the system from using a direct power source to battery power at certain times during the day. This is supposed to help reduce power consumption. 

If the peak feature is on, and you’re leaving the house, you may have even shorter battery life. So be on the lookout for that.

Display

Did I mention that this laptop is a practical machine? We’re not here for fancy colors or eye candy, rather for a professional laptop that looks and feels professional. Dell has used a cross-textured finish that extends to the keyboard, to add some oomph to the otherwise standard black colored machine.

The bezels are thick all around and I hope Dell listens this time and churns out a newer model with slimmer bezels. The 15.6-inch display has a 1920 x 1080 resolution which presents decent colors and sharp images. The viewing angles are narrow, which is not such a bad thing here, as it will keep peeping toms disinterested.

 For graphics, you get integrated AMD Radeon 610 2GB GDDR5 Graphics which provide good quality graphics. They are capable of running casual games and on low settings, select demanding titles.

Other Considerations

The keyboard is well-spaced and includes a dedicated number pad. The keys are soft to touch offering long key travel with clicky feedback. No complaints here, as it’s comfortable to use. The touchpad glides just fine but it can feel slow at times.

There are several connectivity options on this laptop. You get two USB 3.2 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, an SD card reader slot, Optical Drive, and a headphone/mic combo jack. Internal connectivity consists of Wi-F, Bluetooth, and Ethernet LAN.

Bottom Line

So this is a practical (for the 3rd time) and useful laptop aimed at professionals who are looking for a sturdy machine that has plenty of space to accommodate all their files and tools and still have plenty left over for future use. If that’s you, the Dell Vostro 15 is a worthy option. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10510U
  • RAM: 64GB
  • Storage: 4TB SSD
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 4 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon 610 2GB GDDR5
  • OS : Windows 10 Pro

10. HP EliteBook 850 G6

“Lightweight Option”

HP EliteBook 850 G6 Home and Business...
  • 【Upgraded】 Seal is opened for...
  • 【Powerful Performance with Intel Core...
  • 【High Speed and Multitasking】 64GB...
  • 【Enormous Storage】 2TB SATA SSD; 2...
  • 【Authorized Docztorm Bundle】...
Pros
  • Attractive
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Decent battery life
  • Fingerprint sensor for enhanced privacy
Cons
  • Underwhelming graphics

For many of us, freedom is achieved when you can work from anywhere and on your terms. A career in white-hat hacking can afford you that, but you’ll need to invest in a lightweight laptop to make movement easy. To that end, the HP EliteBook Laptop is a great option.

Performance

Beneath the fine-looking laptop is the higher-end 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U that works with considerably higher speed. This chip is designed with the kind of muscle you need for heavy-duty tasks. So if you want to be a hacker and content creator, this machine can help you achieve your dreams.

64GB of RAM and 2TB SSD storage ensures that data is retrieved fast and programs launched speedily which contributes to the machine’s overall good performance. For hacking purposes, this winning combination means that you can download whatever software you need to get your gig going.

Portability

A key selling point for this laptop is the slim chassis and light weight. It weighs 3.94lb which makes it comfortable to carry from one room to another or to head outdoors for a truly free life. No more sitting in a cramped work station with a small window to keep you from getting claustrophobia. Well, unless it’s a client’s office (haha).

The laptop’s battery life is good for up to 14 hours while streaming movies back to back. Reduce that figure to around 8 or 9 hours for hacking activities, and it’s still a reasonable time to get some pen-testing work done.

Display

This silver-colored laptop with its smooth edges and flawless finish looks very sleek, and professional too. Holding the machine in your hands gives you the impression of premium build quality, and rightly so because it’s made using aluminum.

Within the thick bezels is the 15.6-inch screen that offers 1920 x 1080 resolution. As you may have noticed this resolution is quite common on laptops. You’ll enjoy high contrasts, decent colors, sharp images, and comfortable viewing angles.

The built-in Intel UHD 620 Integrated Graphics render good graphics but I feel HP can upgrade the graphics to a better version. Even so, these graphics will run casual games and even some demanding titles on low settings. 

Other Considerations

I like the full keyboard that is so nicely-spaced, well except the “up” and “down” arrows, although it’s not a big deal. The keys are smooth, have a shorter travel but good tactile feedback, and overall good to work with. The touchpad has clickable buttons and is pretty effective.

Connectivity-wise, there are two USB 3.1 ports, one USB (Type-C) port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a mic/headphone combo jack. Ethernet LAN, Bluetooth 5.0, and Wi-Fi connections are also present.

Bottom Line

This laptop is well built, fast, and meets the essential requirements for running hacking software of all kinds. You have the space to download and tinker with different hacking tools before settling on the best one for you. With great battery life and lightweight nature, you can work from anywhere.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U
  • RAM: 64GB
  • Storage: 2TB
  • Weight: 3.94 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 14 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 620 Integrated
  • OS : Windows 10 Pro

Specs Recommendations for Best Laptop For Hacking

For the most part, black-hat hackers build their own computer systems, because no manufacturer in the world is building laptops for hacking. So what do hobbyists and ethical hackers use? Well, first of all, it’s about skill and knowledge, then about software and the specs on the laptop you intend to use.op. 

We can’t help with the skill but we can tell you about the specs you’ll need to get into ethical hacking. A disclaimer though; nothing shared here is intended for illegal access into computer systems, but only for ethical and legal hacking. Remember, they’re probably watching this article, and you too.

1. Operating System

There are several operating systems on the market for ethical hackers including Kali Linux, Parrot Security OS, Dracos Linux, Fedora Security Lab, BackBox, and GnackTrack among others. It’s a matter of preference really, but I would recommend that you test a couple to find one that works for you.

Let’s see what some of them have to offer:

A. Kali Linux

The Kali Linux is popular among beginners and pros alike. It’s an open-source OS that’s easy to customize, less prone to freezing, supports multitasking as well as multi-user operation. Kali Linux can run many of the applications and software that Windows and macOS do and it comes with ample commands that you can use for net penetration.

Minimum requirements for Kali Linux are:

  • 20GB disk space for installation
  • 1GB of RAM minimum for both i386 and amd64 architectures. 2GB is recommended
  • A bootable CD-DVD Drive to Install. A USB stick can work too.

B. Parrot OS 

Parrot OS is a lightweight OS that can be run on limited resources and even be shared with others.  It’s customizable and allows you to surf the net privately and securely. As a white-hat hacker, you can use this OS for pen testing, conducting vulnerability assessments, and computer forensics among other activities.

Minimum requirements for Parrot OS are:

  • 16GB HDD for installation
  • 256MB of RAM for i386 architecture and 320MB of RAM for amd64 architecture. 512MB is recommended
  • For booting, legacy BIOS is preferred.

C. DracOS Linux

This open-source OS is perfect for ethical hackers who want to perform penetration testing. It’s equipped with various tools that aid forensics, malware analysis, and information. More importantly, it doesn’t collect or store your sensitive personal data.

DracOS Linux can be installed under spec hardware. According to the site, installation requires 15GB disk space and 512MB of RAM.

2. Hacking Software and Tools

These tools help you identify and exploit the weaknesses found in computer systems, networks, servers, and web applications. You can freely download most of these tools for ethical hacking.  It is worth noting that not all of them are open-source, some are commercial solution.

Some of the programs include:

  • Netsparker: This web application security scanner is an easy to use hacking tool that can find SQL Injection and other vulnerabilities in web applications and services with dead-on accuracy. You can scan up to 1,000 web applications in 24 hours. It’s available at a price and can be used as Windows software or as an online service.
  • Angry IP Scanner: This open-source network scanner has been downloaded over 29 million times. It’s an easy to use tool that scans IP addresses and ports and exports the results into many formats. It runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux and is used by network administrators, government agencies, large and small enterprises, banks, and personal users.
  • Hashcat: This open-source platform is one of the best password cracking tools around. It helps users audit password security, recover lost passwords, and even discover data that’s been stored in a hash.

3. Web Browsers

As you may have seen, it’s nearly impossible to remain anonymous on the Internet. Sites ask for personal information, browsers store user information, while search engines like Google store and use your geographical location to display practical results.

If you want to keep things private, here are some anonymous browsers that you can use:

I. Tor Browser

This browser works by bouncing communications around a shared network of relays. In doing so, it prevents anyone who’s studying your internet connection from knowing what sites you visit and keeps the sites you visit from knowing your location. Further, it allows you to access blocked sites.

The Tor browser is based on Firefox and it can run on Windows, macOS, and GNU/Linux without requiring any software installation. 

II. Epic Web Browser

Epic is based on Chrome and it works to protect a user’s identity and privacy. It’s an extremely secure browser that effectively blocks ads, crypto mining, fingerprinting, trackers, and ultrasound signaling among other things.

With the Epic browser, it’s impossible to track any URLs visited which also means that you won’t have any suggestions in the address bar. Further, it doesn’t generate error reports, it receives no automatic updates, and it even eliminates the record of the time and date when it was installed. 

III. SRWare Iron Browser

This free web browser is based on Google Chrome and works to eliminate privacy-compromising functionalities found on Google Chrome. It guarantees privacy and security while users are surfing the web.

This browser doesn’t generate program installation IDs, doesn’t offer automatic updates, doesn’t track the download or installation of the browsers. This browser is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Other anonymity browsers that you can check out include 12P, Yandex Browser, Freenet, Comodo IceDragon, and Brave. 

4. Browser Extensions

Browser extensions are slowly gaining popularity as they can help you pull data from the internet and read it more efficiently. You can also use them to hijack protected test sessions or gain access to archived historical data that has been deleted.  

Some extensions are Chome-based, others are Firefox-based, and host more that work with both browsers. In case you want to explore the capacity of these cool extensions, you can look at Tamper Data, Penetration Testing Kit, Proxy SwitchySharp, Site Spider Mark II, and Wappalyzer, among others.

5. A Powerful Laptop

For smooth running, you’ll need a powerful machine that can handle multitasking, power-hungry software, penetration tests, traffic tunneling, and network mapping among other hacking techniques.  

Some of the specs you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Processor: To run pen-testing tools or carry out any hacking work, you’ll need a fast processor. A Core i7 processor is preferable, but a Core i5 processor will also get the job done. You want to ensure that it has four or six (eight is even better) cores and a high clock speed. 
  • RAM: This depends on the hacking activities you’re undertaking. We recommend a minimum of 8G of RAM. If you’re running multiple virtual machines or get into expanded hacking activities 16GB or 32GB of RAM is more realistic.
  • Graphics: Discrete graphics, particularly NVIDIA graphics, with 2GB VRAM is the minimum. 4GB of video memory offers even better performance in terms of speed and accuracy. 
  • Storage: From installing the operating system to running pen-testing processes, you’ll need plenty of storage space. SSD storage is better than HDD as the former has a quicker access time, no heat generation, no noise and consumes less power. The minimum SSD storage you should look at is 128GB, but 512GB or even 1TB looks better. For HDD, work with 250GB OR 500GB storage.
  • Mouse: This is optional but when you’re looking for bugs and working with tools, a mouse can help you move faster than a touchpad. 
  • Weight: Are you working from home or do you need to carry your laptop to the office or a client’s office? Some machines tend to be bulky and heavy while others are lightweight and portable. Consider your needs before choosing a laptop.
  • Battery life: Powerful machines with powerful systems tend to have low battery life. An OS like the Kali Linux eats into the battery life. An average laptop can get you six to seven hours, but you’ll probably get less time while hacking. It’s wise to keep your charger on hand.

FAQs About Best Laptops for Hacking

1. What kind of computers do hackers use?

Hackers use all kinds of computers. Some build their own machines while others buy laptops 

and desktop computers. But here’s the thing, hacking has nothing to do with the brand, rather it’s about getting a machine that’s configured with an advanced OS such as Linux plus other high-end specs and hardware.

2. Is MacBook Pro good for hacking?

Yes, MacBook Pro is good for hacking for various reasons. First, it has high-end hardware and secondly it runs a POSIX compliant UNIX which not only allows it to run Windows and Linux OS seamlessly but also means that you can operate hacking tools on Mac OS. Mac Os is faster, safer, and easier to maintain.

3. Do you need a powerful computer for hacking?

A powerful computer is necessary for cracking passwords, penetration testing, and other whitehat hacking activities in a fast and efficient manner. That means investing in a machine with a good processor, lots of RAM, and good graphics. A cheap, low-end machine will do the opposite. You’ll have challenges cracking passwords and performing some activities.

4. Is i5 good for hacking?

The i5 is good for hacking. It’s a fast processor with multiple-cores and it meets the requirements needed for hacking activities to run smoothly. We would also recommend looking at i7 processors. They are built with the kind of specs professional ethical hackers need to get the work done.

5. What is the most dangerous hacker tool?

Dangerous hacking tools include BeEF, Metasploit, Nikto, and SqlMap. Please note that our answer is for information purposes and recommend that you don’t attempt to hack into any systems without authorization. Doing is illegal in most countries and is punishable by law.

6. Do Hackers prefer Mac or PC?

A hacker knows that they can be hacked back which may be why many prefer Mac over PC. Macs are generally perceived to be safer and less prone to hacking. Plus, Macs have better specs compared to PCs and come with a free suite of software. That said, the choice boils down to preference and necessity.

7. How much RAM do you need for hacking?

As much RAM as you can spare. If you intend to run multiple virtual machines, then 8GB of RAM should be the absolute minimum. We prefer 16GB or 32GB RAM for fast boots and running hacking software and data recovery apps. While you’re at it, it may be wise to invest in a machine with RAM. 

8. Which OS is best for hacking?

Kali Linux is one of the best and OS in the hacking industry. It provides a variety of tools, fast network backup, and a vast range of commands that you can use for net penetration. Freezing is not an issue with Linux which makes for a better quality ethical hacking experience.

9. Is it hard to be a hacker?

Being a hacker is about passion, patience, and a desire to learn. It’s not hard to be a hacker, but it’s also not a skill that you can learn overnight. Start small, learn from other ethical hackers, grow, and test new things. We recommend that you stick to white-hat hacking because anything else might land you in jail.

10. Is Apple harder to hack?

Apple computers are known for their exceptional security because Apple constantly updates iOS for their devices. While this makes Apple harder to hack, they are not hack-proof, no computer is. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly smart about the way they get into computers. 

They can be very patient employing a technique called social engineering, whereby they build trust with their would-be-victims over time. As such, their attacks feel subtle, but they are super effective. It’s safer to install a comprehensive security package to keep the malware and ransomware out

11. Is i3 good for hacking?

Core i3 processors can work but most have slow speeds which in turn slow down the hacking process. That said, you can find 10th generation (and above) i3 processors that are more powerful than some Core i7 processors. If you want to use an i3 processor, ensure that the clock speed, RAM, and storage are above average.

The Final Verdict

As we wind up our review of the best laptop for hacking, it is our sincere hope that you’ve learned a thing or two about ethical hacking and identified some good laptops for the job. Our list consists of professional and gaming laptops that have the specs you’ll need to perform hardware you need to carry out any pen-testing simulations and crack passwords.

What do you think of white-hat hacking? Is there a difference between ethical hackers and criminal masterminds? Let us know in the comments.

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API