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10 Best Laptops For Pentesting

Last Updated on

You have been searching, and have wasted an entire day on Google. But, still the question roams the corridors of your brain, you repeat it in your mind several times, only to find distant echoes that remain completely unanswered;  which is the best laptop for Pentesting? 

Well, take a deep breath and calm yourself down. Get yourself a glass of water and read with a clearer mind because your answer certainly lies in this article! 

Best Laptop for Pentesting

1. MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019)

“Editor’s Choice”

Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch, Previous...
  • 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5...
  • Brilliant Retina Display
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
  • Ultrafast SSD
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life

Installed with 2.7 GHz 8th Gen Intel Core i7, Apple MacBook Pro offers expeditious work performance. The high-quality processor provides a turbo boost up to 4.5 GHz. The fast speed proves advantageous for pentesting as the task demands swift flow of quality work in a short period. The installation allows Apple MacBook Pro Pentesters even to perform processing tasks like code compilation, the addition of special effects, and layering of multiple tasks faster than before.

Memory & Storage

The Apple MacBook Pro comes with up to 32 GB DDR4 memory, thus allowing the user to download files and applications more swiftly. An individual seeking a laptop for pentesting may find Apple MacBook Pro particularly helpful in terms of storage and fast processing. The long-lasting battery of Apple MacBook Pro also ensures the completion of lengthy tasks without disruption of performance quality. 

Display

With the release of the MacBook Pro, Apple has proven that it is not merely stylish from the outside but the inside. The sleek and modish exterior certainly blends well with the extraordinary display. Equipped with the Retina display,  the MacBook Pro comprises of bright LED backlight and high contrast ratio. The combination delivers intense black and white colors. The support for P3 color also brings out the vibrancy of the colors. Therefore, the refined color display provides a Pentester with efficient visual experience. 

Graphics & Other Features

The presence of Radeon Pro GPU and GDDR5 memory significantly affects the power efficiency and displays high-quality graphics. Also, the newest addition of Touch Bar has taken the user’s feasibility to the next level. Now, control your Apple MacBook Pro with simple taps and swipes of the Touch Bar.

Pros
  • High-quality Display with Vivid Colors
  • Turbo Operational Speed
  • Long-Lasting Battery
  • Intense Radeon Graphics Display
Cons
  • An Expensive Laptop
Specs Recap
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Disc: Up to 32 GB
  • Graphics: Radeon
  • Display : Retina, High- Quality Display
  • Screen Size : 13 inch
  • Weight: 4.9 pounds
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours

Bottom Line

With a super-fast processing system and operational qualities, the Apple MacBook Pro proves to be an ideal laptop for Pentesting. The only setback is its expensive cost. However, if financial constraints do not hold you back, it is advisable to choose the Apple MacBook Pro.

2. HP 17.3″ HD+ Premium (2019)

” For Professional Pentesting”

HP 2019 Newest HP 17 17.3" HD+...
  • 17.3" diagonal HD+ SVA BrightView...
  • 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U (2.50...
  • 1 TB 5400 rpm SATA HDD | 8 GB DDR4-2400...
  • HDMI | USB3.0 | USB2.0 | WiFi +...
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit; Great Value for...

When it comes to Pentesting, HP’s 17.3-Inch HD+ Premium Laptop is no less than Apple’s MacBook Pro. Hewlett-Packard(HP) envisions an equipped and advancing world. The enterprise aims to reinvent the past, the present, and the future to keep the process of evolution and learning alive. Thus, it continues to bring forth computational technology that leaves the masses stunned every time.

Built

In recent times, HP introduced one of its low-priced models, offering flagship-level performance, which is none other than HP 17.3” HD+ Laptop. Along with a sleek and stylish design, the model comes with an extra-big screen of 17.3-Inches. The large screen, coupled with its exceptional resolution of 1600×900 pixels delivers better colors and details. However, the enlargement of the screen suggests the addition of 1.2kg. Thus, it indicates a heavy weight figure, which limits the portability of the device to some extent. The model comes in two mesmerizing colors, including metallic gold and metallic silver.

Performance

An extraordinary feature of the laptop is its capability to upgrade most of its things. It can upgrade its 8GB RAM (Random Access Memory) to 32 GB. This particular feature is of great benefit to a Pentester. That’s because an increased “working” memory enables the laptop to work with more information without depreciating the system’s performance. Amongst all of its admirable features, its super-efficient Intel Quad Core i5-7200U processor, is the prime reason why the model has made it to the top six laptop models for Pentesting, that too within $500. Hence, it can turbo boost the laptop up to 3.1GHz.

Graphics

The graphics game of this model is neither too low nor too high with Intel UHD graphics 620. Being integrated, it uses less power, which increases overall battery life. It generates less heat, as well. However, it makes use of a certain percentage of the available memory for graphics processing. It may cause the device to slow down during intense and heavy usage.

Although it is one of the best laptops for Pentesting, this model may not be the best for gamers but ideal for ethical hackers. It supports only 397 out of the thousand most-played games of today. You may be able to download some from the remaining 603, but it may cause excessive lagging of the device. Again, the slowing-down of the device is unacceptable by both Pentesters and gamers. Thus, using this laptop for gaming purposes is not advisable.

Pros
  • Upgradable RAM & Hard disk
  • Pentesting oriented Processor
  • Wide Display
  • Mid-range Model
Cons
  • Heavy to carry
Specs Recap
  • Processor: 7th Gen Intel Quad Core i5-7200U
  • RAM: 8 GB (Upgradable)
  • Hard Disc: 256 GB SSD
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Display : Ultra-Wide Quality Display
  • Screen Size : 17.3 inch
  • Weight: 5.52 pounds
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 hours

Bottom Line

Available at an affordable price, HP 17.3-Inch HD+ Premium Laptop carries encases cutting-edge technology in its innovatively designed body. The 7th generation Intel Quad Core i5-7200U coupled with adequate battery life, the laptop has an efficient performance. The multiple USB ports of the laptop are a plus, as they increase its connectivity.

The upgradable Hard Drive and RAM account for its strong position as a Pentesting laptop. Apart from that, all of its features collectively make ethical hacking not only possible but easy and convenient.

3. Lenovo ThinkPad E580

‘High Performance”

Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Business Laptop -...
  • 15.6-Inch Anti-Glare (1366x768) Display...
  • Intel Core i5-7200U 2.5 GHz (Turbo 3.10...
  • 500 GB HDD | 4 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM |...
  • 802.11ac Dual-Band Wireless (2x2) +...
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit - Black

Exterior

Following its name, Lenovo ThinkPad E580 has a modish, business-like look that radiates professionalism. The sleek and thin construction blends well with the matte exterior. With such a contemporary look, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 laptop best suits business and professional needs. So, if you are one of the Pentesters who love to use ravishing equipment, then the Lenovo laptop could be an ideal choice.

Processor

Installed with Intel Core i5 -7200U processor, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 offers speedy and swift work performance. Pentesters can carry out tasks requiring moderate processing efficiently and convenience,. However, the laptop may exhibit less speed with heavy processing tasks at times. Thus, pentesting might suffer a slight delay with the laptop. Also, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 comes with Windows 10 Pro, which allows you to access the latest applications and soft wares without hindrances.

Storage & Battery

Offering memory up to 32 GB DDR4, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 helps create feasibility for the user when it comes to downloads. You can conveniently download multiple applications and files while Pentesting before the storage gets filled. Also, with a long 13 hours battery life, one can easily carry out lengthy processing and Pentesting without interruption.

Display

With a 15.6” (1366 x 768) anti-glare screen, the laptop provides an ultra-wide visual experience, and the AMD Radeon adds to the quality of graphics. Hence, augmenting the viewing experience for the Pentester.

Connectivity

The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 features a 720-pixel camera with a dual-array microphone. So, you can encapsulate memories into quality images. The product extends the user’s connectivity by linking the Lenovo laptop with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB.

Also, the HDMI and SD card slots provide the options for more connectivity expansion. Lenovo’s laptop offers certain lock features, like a touch fingerprint reader to secure the user’s data. You can activate the fingerprint reader and secure your data against intruders!

Pros
  • Stylish & Contemporary Design
  • Upgradable Memory
  • Swift Work Performance
  • Affordable Price
Cons
  • No High-End Specifications
Specs Recap
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7200U
  • RAM: 4 GB (Upgradable)
  • Hard Disc: Up to 32 GB
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Display : Anti-Glare, Wide Display
  • Screen Size : 15.6 inch
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds
  • Battery Life: Up to 13 hours

Bottom Line

Lenovo aspires to offer feasibility to its maximum extent, and its laptops have provided its users with quality specifications in an affordable range. But what about Pentesting?

Pentesting is a field requiring heavy yet fast processing and large storage. Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Business Laptop does support the huge storage space required. However, its processing is not as fast as compared with other competitive models. Therefore, the Lenovo laptop may prove an ideal one for novice Pentesters, but not for professionals. 

4. Dell Alienware 17 R5

“For Multi-Tasking”

2019 Dell Alienware 17 R5 17.3" FHD VR...
  • Latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H...
  • 17.3" display The 1920 x 1080 resolution...
  • 32GB 2400MHz DDR4 SDRAM Memory for...
  • HDMI output expands your viewing...
  • With Windows 10 Home Break down...

Dell’sAlienware 17 R5 laptop happens to be an all-rounder. The company wishes to empower the world with technology so that each one of us has the complete resources to chase our dreams and achieve our goals. In pursuit of its purpose, Dell introduced Dell Alienware 17 R5 that serves the best for pentesting, ethical hacking, web applications, and software to determine its security vulnerability. But that’s not just about it. It also delivers excellent gaming performance as well.

Processor

With 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750 H swift processor, the laptop enables smooth and uninterrupted multitasking. Alienware’s super-sonic processing with up to 3.9 GHz Turbo boost speeds, prevents downloaded applications from crashing while ensuring that the current activity of the laptop remains quick and responsive. 

Windows 10

Operating on Windows 10, Dell Alienware comes with some advanced feature updates along with its traditional and convenient Start Menu. All of the subsequent updates are free of cost. This easy-to-operate version of Windows allows hassle-free installation of almost all the Pentesting tools, including Nmap, Wireshark, Nessus, etc.

Cooling System

Unlike other models, its revamped cooling system comprises of thinner fan-blades and an additional vapor chamber above the CPU. It saves the system from heating up despite heavy and extensive usage and brings about better ventilation and noiseless functioning. Hence, it does not disrupt or disturb the hacking business by malfunctioning or heating up. The battery only lasts 3 hours and 50 minutes if constantly used, which is insufficient for professional Pentesters out there.

Display

The laptop weighs about 9.74 lbs and has a width of 16.7”, a height of 1.2”, and a depth of 13.1”. It’s slimmer and smarter than its predecessor. The thin, hinge-forward design of the machinery is available in black and silver color. Its 17.3 inches widescreen and 1920 × 1080 resolution provides impressive clarity and unveils the true colors on the screen. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics increase the laptop’s performance and provides a rich visual experience.

Other

Dell provides a one-year limited warranty for this meticulously designed and engineered Pentesting laptop. The machinery utilizes magnesium alloy, steel, anodized aluminum, and copper to deliver high-grade performance. Its upgraded Alien TactX keyboard has LED lighting enabled, a steel backplate for rigidity, and 2.2mm of key travel permitting quick responses. When the keys and laptop work so swiftly, the hacking-work becomes far more interesting!

Pros
  • Excellent Audio
  • Dynamic Graphics
  • Convenient Keyboard
  • Better Ventilation
  • No heating-up
Cons
  • Limited Battery Life
Specs Recap
  • Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Hard Disc: Up to 32 GB
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • Display : Anti-Glare, Wide Display
  • Screen Size : 17.3 inch
  • Weight: 9.74 pounds
  • Battery Life: Up to 3.5 hours

Bottom Line 

All in all, Dell’s Alienware 17 R5 seems to score a seven out of ten when it comes to marking it as a Pentesting laptop. The company has equipped the laptop with an excellent keyboard, display, audio system, and an efficient cooling system. The powerful graphics is a plus from a Pentester’s view as well as that of a gamer’s.

However, the limited battery life can be a major obstacle in a Pentester’s work. Along the same lines, the CPU performance of this laptop is impressive, but somehow it is not as efficient as that of the competent models.

5. ASUS VivoBook S15

“Top of the line”

Asus Vivobook S15 S512 Thin and Light...
  • 15.6 inch Full HD 4 Way NanoEdge bezel...
  • Powerful Intel Core i7-8565u Processor...
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD +...
  • Metal chassis and 18mm z-height
  • Ergonomic backlit chiclet keyboard with...

Exterior

The glamourous exterior of the ASUS VivoBook S15 that is available in different colors depicts a taste laden with sophistication and class. Also, the laptop comprises of a 15.6-inch FHD and a 4-way Nano-Edge display. Thus, providing the Pentester an ultra-wide viewing experience. Despite the slim bezel, the ASUS VivoBook S15 also has an HD camera at the top bezel. The installment of the ASUS Sonic Master provides a high-quality audio experience. So, the user may capture precious moments and relish music with ease.

Keyboard 

There is also a full backlit keyboard with a 1.4 mm key travel distance for an improved typing experience. The ergonomic key dish design of the ASUS VivoBook S15 also emphasizes on the fact that ASUS develops technology for the consumer’s feasibility. The specialized design of the EgroLift Hinge raises the keyboard slightly (2 degrees) while maintaining the position on the screen. Thus, allowing a convenient typing position to the user. The feature is particularly useful for a Pentester because the long hours of work require intense typing. The improved design adds comfort to the work.

Processor

Installed with a powerful Intel Core i7-8565u processor, the model offers turbo working efficiency and supports multi and heavy tasking. The 8 GB Ram and huge storage space of up to 256 GB allow the user to download large applications, programs, and files without stressing out. ASUS VivoBook S15 demonstrates swift data performance with its dual-storage design.  Also, the lithium-polymer battery provides an extra-fast charging of 60% in 49 minutes. The huge storage and fast charging offer a Pentester the feasibility of storing numerous items and using the laptop without worrying about longs hours of charge.

Connectivity

The ASUS VivoBook S15 also comprises of a finger sensor in its touchpad so that the user does not have to type lengthy passwords every time to log in. Moreover, the laptop consists of ports for USB Type-C, HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.1, and Micro SD card reader. Thus, it significantly extends the connectivity of the user. Even more, the 4lbs weight of the ASUS VivoBook S15 makes it travel-friendly too!

Pros
  • Modish and Ravishing Design with Ultra-Wide Screen
  • Feather-light Construction
  • Powerful Processing System
  • Large Storage Space
  • Super-fast Charging
Cons
  • Expensive
Specs Recap
  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Disc: 256 GB SSD
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Display : FHD, 4-way Nano Edge Display
  • Screen Size : 15.6 inch
  • Weight: 3.97 pounds
  • Battery Life: Up to 7.5 hours

Bottom Line

In consideration of the above-stated features, the ASUS VivoBook S15 proves to be a Pentesting oriented laptop. The combination of the strong processing system, vast storage space, and fast battery charging supports the multi-tasking of penetration testing efficiently. 

Also, the inclusion of the smart fingerprint reader, improved typing position, lightweight design,  extensive connectivity, and many other features make the laptop an incomparable one. If you exclude the price factor from the list, then it is totally justified to claim that ASUS VivoBook S15 model-2019 is an ideal laptop for Pentesting.

6. ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GV

“Cool Design”

ROG Strix SCAR II Gaming Laptop, 17.3”...
  • Geforce Fortnite bundle – offer valid...
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 |...
  • Tackle any task with the Intel Core...
  • 17.3” high refresh rate 144Hz IPS-Type...
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM | 256GB PCIe NVMe...

Introduced by a brand driven by innovation, ASUS ROG Strix Scar II is a compact yet loaded package. Representing the enterprise’s dedication towards transforming the world into a better, comfortable place, the model condenses an exceptional set of features in a modishly built casing.

Display

With a narrow-bezel, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II has a 17.3 inches wide display, offering a high-resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels. The back of the front flap has two contrasting brushed finishes on either side of its central diagonal line. The intergalactic appearance brings about a dark, military feel which instigates focus and precision. The length of 15.7”, a width of 10.8”, and a height of 1” inch make the device compact and slim enough to be held comfortably.

Webcam 

It webcam with the pixels of 1920 x 1080, however, is situated at the lower bezel. This inappropriate positioning makes it difficult to use. And for some reason, ASUS did not bother much about upgrading the quality of Webcam. Unfortunately, it takes grainy and dark images. It maintains the colors, but the overall quality is poor.

But let’s not forget the keyboard, which happens to be a delight. The desktop-inspired durable keyboard of this laptop is customizable and features ROG Overstroke Technology. There are four additional keys in the keyboard for system controls. The graphics game of ASUS ROG Strix Scar II is all leveled up with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060.

Processor

Equipped with 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and a 16GB RAM, ASUS ROG Strix Scar II has increased performance. Owing to its best-of-the-best specifications it has a long battery run-time of about 4 hours 56 minutes, rounding up to 5-6 hours if the screen-brightness get lowered. The extensive operation, however, may heat the device. The hottest part of the laptop happens to be near the center of the hinge. Although it does not make holding or handling the laptop an issue, it is still a considerable negative aspect.

Pros
  • High-grade performance
  • Strong Speakers
  • Sleek Design
  • Extended Battery Life
Cons
  • Heats up really fast
  • Inappropriate Webcam positioning
Specs Recap
  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Hard Disc: Up to 17 GB
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GEforce GTX 1060
  • Display : FHD, 4-way Nano Edge Display
  • Screen Size : 17.3 inch
  • Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours

Bottom Line

Ever since its release on October 2018, thousands of gamers have appreciated the high-quality construction and outstanding features of ASUS ROG Strix Scar II. The top-notch graphics and processing had ensured a sound gaming experience for many hardcore gamers. Perhaps, it is this massive popularity of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II amongst gamers that many Pentesters have doubted its capability for Pentesting.

However, the laptop withholds equal potential to be good for Pentesting too. The powerful processor and ample storage space make ASUS ROG Strix Scar II a suitable laptop for Pentesting. A Pentester may easily carry out multiple tasks and store large applications without any facing any major obstacle. Although the laptop may heat up fast, the overall features are not unworthy for Pentesting.

Conclusion

Certainly, there is no doubt in the fact that Pentesters heavily rely on the laptops for the accomplishment of the task. The absence of a few features or a slight doubt of low quality can hinder the progression of a Pentester significantly. Thus, if you are also a Pentester, then do your research properly. Take your time and assess the potential of the laptop thoroughly before investment. After all, in today’s modernized world, nobody wants to spend valuable time, energy, and resources continuously, do we? Share your views in the comments below!

Last update on 2020-04-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jeff Finder
Jeff Finder

Jeff Finder is a Digital Nomad who travel around the world and love to blog about technology and gadgets specifically laptops.