Penetration Testing is a fun job, it is similar to warfare training but limited to cybersecurity only. However, it brings a lot of responsibility as well. If someone hires you for penetration testing, it is your job that no vulnerability of the system is left unexposed. Because in case, it is left unattended, hackers could use it as a way in. So, in order to do that, you need to have a quality laptop beside you.
So, in this list, we would look into some of the best laptops for pentesting that are available on the market. We would lay out their pros and try to find a way around their shortcomings. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into our list of best laptops for pentesting.
However, before going into details, let’s take a bird’s eye view of the features these best hacking laptops have to offer.
|LG Gram Laptop||Core i7 8th Gen||16GB/1TB SSD|
|MacBook Pro 2020||10th Gen Core i5||16GB/512GB SSD|
|Acer Predator Helios||Core i7 9th Gen||16GB/512GB SSD|
|HP Newest 2019||Intel 7Th Gen Core i5||8GB/1TB SSD|
|MSI GV62||Intel i7 8th Gen||8GB/128GB SSD, 1TB SATA|
|ROG Strix SCAR II||Intel Core i7 8th Gen||16GB/256GB SSD, 1TB HDD|
|HP Envy 17t||8th Gen Core i7||32GB/1TB SSD|
|Acer Spin 3||Core i7 8th Gen||16GB/512GB SSD|
|Lenovo Thinkpad B.||Core i5 8th Gen||16GB/512GB SSD|
|Acer Aspire E 15||Core i7 8th Gen||8GB/ 256GB|
1. LG Gram Laptop-Compact Device with Beast of An Engine
- Military-grade durability
- Compact and light-weight design
- Highly responsive fingerprint sensor
- Powerful specifications
- The number pad is available
Penetration testing requires demanding software that needs a suitable engine to run smoothly and to provide optimal performance. LG provides that engine in its Gram laptop and ensures each and every test is carried out to make the security of your system unbreachable.
The device has Intel’s 8th generation core i7 processor which is ranked amongst the top processing chips. A powerful processor like this ensures applications like Netsparker, Wireshark and Metasploit run smoothly without any lag or whatsoever.
Furthermore, the RAM featured in this device is 16GB coupled with 1TB of SSD storage. When combined, these two provide a lightning-fast speed especially when you are carrying out blind tests on the device. Moreover, the storage capacity of the device is more than enough which means you would not need an external drive. This is important as in most cases external drives tend to slow down the system.
For devices’ own security, it has a fingerprint reader that is highly responsive and amazingly accurate. In addition to it, there is a “Windows Hello” as well that provides hassle-free log in to the device.
If we talk about the design, it is pretty compact and light-weight considering the hardware it is loaded with. The device weighs only two and a half pounds which makes it convenient to carry around. So, in cases, when you have to access the system via Wi-Fi, such designs come in handy.
Another fascinating thing about this laptop is its battery that provides a backup of almost 18 hours. For a device with size like this to have such a powerful battery is simply exceptional.
For those of you worried about its durability, let me tell you that this device has undergone a number of durability tests. The seven industry-standard tests prove the military-grade durability of this device. So, even if you handle the device a little roughly, it would withstand the abuse.
|Processor||Core i7 8th Gen|
2. Apple MacBook Pro 2020-Name That Speak For Itself
- Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Powerful processor
- Backlit keyboard
- Responsive and sensitive touchpad
- Amazing display
Apple is one of those few companies that never disappoints with their products. This product we at hand is one of Apple’s flagship products and that constantly undergoes updates and up-gradation. In this year’s MacBook, contrary to what many thoughts, Apple has not made any massive changes. In fact, the differences are so subtle that they often go unnoticed. Perhaps, it is why Apple has not changed the price as well.
This device is available in two chips, 10th Gen Core i5 and 8th Gen Core i5. Understandably, there is a price difference between the two but one should not forsake the latest version merely because of a few bucks. However, if you are running tight on the budget, then, you can consider moving to the older version.
Both of these chips perform exceptionally well regardless of the activity you use them for. Even with the slightly older version, you would not experience any glitch but the latest version provides better performance. Plus, the latest version is optimal for the software that will be released before 2020 and those that are going to be released in the coming years.
For storage, you can get either 1TB, 256GB or 512GB of SSD drive depending on the storage. However, if you have some cash to spare, always go for 1TB because once you get that installed, “running short of storage” would be practically obsolete for you. In addition, the device comes with 16GB of RAM which is the only option and rightly so. The combination of a powerful processor with optimal RAM makes it a performance beast.
If we talk about connections, it has just two ports which is something that bums most people out. However, the availability of quality dongles can help you get around the problem. Plus, the two ports that are available are thunderbolt 3, fastest of the fastest and that should account for something. The point is, from a broad perspective, even though the number of ports is low, it should not be the deal-breaker.
|Processor||10th Gen Intel Core i5|
|Number Pad||Not available|
3. Acer Predator Helios 300-Fancy Design With Efficient Performance
- Design that keeps the device cool
- Durable design
- Multicolour backlit keyboard
- Powerful specifications
- Comes at a relatively affordable cost
Acer is known for delivering stylish devices in the market and with Predator Helios they have lived up to their reputation. The Helios Predator is one of the most stylish devices that you would come across. It has a design that is bound to catch eyes and compliments the nature of white hat hacking.
However, the design is not the only thing that has compelled me to include this in my list. In fact, it is the budget that this device comes in and the value of the money that it provides. When you read the price tag, it might not sound cheap but if you compare it with other devices, you would realize the point.
The device features a powerful processor, Intel’s 9th Generation i7, which is a top-shelf chip. Plus, it has 16GB of RAM, again something, which puts it up in the hierarchy. The 512GB of the SSD drive is the icing on the cake. Now take a look at the specifications again and find some other laptop, you would realize most of those laptops come at much higher prices than this.
Moreover, the laptop is equipped with GTX 1660ti, a powerful graphics card that can run most modern games. Again, this is something that most of the laptops, even those that come at higher prices, would not have. Therefore, in case you are running a bit low on budget but want a quality device, this laptop would be hard to beat. This is why it is often known as the best budget laptop for pen-testing.
Since it is a gaming laptop, the interior of the device has been shaped to keep it cool. So, while conducting blind or double-blind tests that require the running of multiple applications, you would not experience a surge in the temperatures.
Another interesting feature of this device is the backlit keyboard that has 10 lighting effects. Features like these do not affect the performance of the device but they create a vibe that boosts the personal skills of the users. Plus, thanks to its powerful graphic card, you can play the games to escape work-related stress and features like this keyboard make it even more fun.
|Processor||Core i7 9th Gen|
4. HP Newest 2019-No To Running Out of Storage
- Comes at a cheap price
- 3 USB ports
- Powerful processing chip
- Provides great value for money
- Excellent for beginners
Are you looking for a cheap laptop for pen-testing? In case you are, this is just the right device for you. HP Newest is the entry-level device for individuals that are interested in ethical or white-hat hacking.
It provides you with fairly balanced specifications that should be able to run most of the software one needs for pen-testing. HP has installed Intel’s 7th Generation Core i5 chip in it which is one of the fast chips available. Although it is not as powerful as the first three devices mentioned, it gets the job done.
Furthermore, it has 8GB 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM which might pale in comparison to other devices mentioned in the list. However, one should consider the price of the device as well while drawing the comparison. Moreover, despite being slightly low on RAM, you would not experience any trouble. The data transfer might be a bit low but as long as it gets the job done, it is good to go.
With 1TB of SSD hard drive, it outshines most of the devices within the budget category. In fact, it is one of the key reasons I included it in my top 10 list. Usually, the devices in this price bracket come with 256GB of SSD or 512GB at best. In scenarios like this, the availability of 1TB SSD makes it quite appealing.
The only area where it shines a bit is the ports that are just three in numbers. To top that, two of these ports are 3.1 which is quite appealing. And, the placement of the ports is of my liking as well. The two ports on the left side and one on the right make it easier to connect multiple dongles with it. I do not know about you but all the ports on one side really bum me out as it causes the wire to tangle which is something I detest.
The only area where it disappoints a bit is its weight which is five and a half pounds. Carrying it around in bare hands would not be easy. Plus, in case it falls down it can break into pieces. However, you can only get so much at a price like this, so this is something where your compromise is due.
|Processor||Intel 7th Gen core i5|
5. MSI GV62 Gaming Laptop-Satisfying Performance With Aesthetically Appealing Design
- Comes at an affordable price
- Quality graphic card is installed
- Plenty of storage space
- Exotic design
- Efficient Processor
While looking for the best laptop for hacking, the design is not really the priority of most users, hardware and specifications. However, what if I tell you, that the laptop I am about to review is not just a performance beast but a visual treat as well. Sounds cool? It really is.
MSI GV62 is, as its name implies, a gaming device with a design with a contrasting tone that makes it exotic. The combination of black and red really makes a fine design and attracts the eyes towards it. In addition, the logo of the MSI on the back really compliments the design and makes it even more appealing.
Fortunately, the design is not the only aspect where it shines. The hardware installed in it is just as good as its exterior design. The engine is efficient, the display is sharp and the battery is long-lasting. All in all, it is one of the best hacking laptops you can get your hands on.
The device uses Intel’s 8th Gen i7 chip for processing which speaks for itself. Along with the powerful engine, it has 8GB of RAM which is comparatively low but the high-performing processor makes up for that.
Storage is where things get interesting in this device as it features two separate drives. One of these drives is 128GB SSD while the other one is 1TB SATA. The SATA is much slower compared to the SSD when it comes to reading and writing. So, what it means is, the program that you install on the SSD would run quickly and smoothly. However, those in the SATA might take a while to slow down.
The trick is to save all the demanding software in SSD and use the SATA for light data and applications. The point is, despite the low storage on SSD, you can make it work and therefore it should not be the reason to snag the device.
The only area where the laptop genuinely lags behind is its weight which is almost five pounds. Plus, the design is a bit bulky as well and cannot be carried in the bare hands. Therefore, you would have to get a separate bag in case your job involves excessive commuting.
All in all, it is an excellent laptop for white hat hackers. There are few tricks to work around the problems it presents but overall, it provides great value for the money. So, in case, you are looking for a good laptop for hacking, this should make a great option.
|Processor||Intel i7 8th Gen|
|Storage||128GB SSD, 1TB SATA|
6. ROG Strix SCAR II Gaming Laptop-Multipurpose Laptop With Design Bound To Attract Eyes
- Powerful Antennas to Catch Wi-Fi signals
- Massive storage capacity
- Customizable Laptop
- 144Hz refreshing rate
- Effective cooling system
One cannot help but wonder why there are so many gaming laptops in the list of best laptops for hacking. Right? I saw this query coming. Let me take a moment and explain why. Gaming needs laptops with high-performing processors, graphic cards, and designs that can withstand minor and wear and tear. When it comes to penetration testing laptops, the same specifications are required. Therefore, it would not be a wrong statement that gaming laptops make the best laptop for penetration testing.
Now that you have a clear idea of why these laptops have been included, let’s take a detailed look at the device we have at hand. This particular device makes quite an impression when you see it for the first time. The slim design, vibrant color tone, and wide display really make it an appealing option. However, there is much more to it than mere design and looks.
The laptop is equipped with Intel’s 8th Generation core i7 processor, if you have made this far into the article, you must know how good of a chip it is. Plus, it has 16GB of RAM. The combination of massive RAM and one of the fast processors makes it one of the most efficient devices that is available on market.
Furthermore, the device also has NVIDIA GTX 1060 attached to it. It is a powerful graphic card intended for gaming but even if you are not into gaming, it improves the overall display as well. The details, colors, and contrasts are simply amazing that makes the work fun.
For storage, just like the previously mentioned laptop, it uses two drives. One is 256GB of SSD and the other one is 1TB of HDD. The trick is simple, store the demanding software and your windows on SSD and stash the remaining data in HDD. You would be good to go.
The most interesting feature in this device for white hat hackers is its Wi-Fi which has quad antennas. These additional antennas increase the range from where the laptop is able to catch the signals. In blind tests, this feature would really come in handy.
|Processor||Intel Core i7 8th Gen|
|Storage||256GB SSD, 1TB HDD|
|Graphics Card||GTX 1060|
7. HP Envy 17t-It Cannot Get Any Better
- Massive RAM and Storage Capacity
- High-end GPU
- Compact design
- Availability of touchscreen
- Comes at an affordable cost
Well, folks! If the above-mentioned devices have not met your criteria for the best penetration testing laptop. Behold! Because the HP Envy is the ultimate penetration testing device that would end your craving for a performance beast.
This particular device is loaded with high-end hardware that would never disappoint regardless of the purpose you get it for. Be it gaming, ethical hacking, or simple casual use the device will ace at all.
The processor featured in this device is Intel’s 8th Generation core i7 which is pretty much self-explanatory. The area where it tops the chart is the RAM which is 32GB, something that is rare especially in this price range. Furthermore, for storage, it uses 1TB of SSD. All of them together make it a total beast.
There is no application in the world that this PC cannot run without lagging or producing glitches. No matter how many applications you operate simultaneously, it would not pose any problem or whatsoever.
Furthermore, it is equipped with MX150, a powerful graphic card, that is able to run pretty much all the modern games. In case, you get frustrated with the work, the games on this laptop provide a perfect escape.
When it comes to connectivity options, it is all good there as well. The device has three USB 3.1 ports and one USB type C port. Frankly, this is the most a laptop can provide. However, even if these are not enough for you, dongles are always there to help out.
Another interesting feature that has almost gone obsolete is the DVD writer. Although most people prefer SD cards and pen drives these days, this orthodox technology still comes in handy in some cases. So, even if you do not use the CDs and DVDs having an option never hurts.
The only area where it lags is the weight which is understandably high considering the hardware it has been mounted with. However, despite the weight, the design of the device is really compact and can go easily in the typical backpacks while leaving the space for other stuff.
|Processor||8th Gen Core i7|
8. Acer spin 3-Device That Turns On The Creative Beasts
- Comes at an affordable price
- Versatile design
- Decent battery backup
- Compact size
- Powerful specifications
White hat hackers with a bit of creative sense would find this device delightful. The hinge of the device can move in 360 degrees which makes it a convertible device. In addition to being practical, the design makes it aesthetically pleasing as well. The two tones, black and grey, gives a device an elegant touch that attracts the eyes from all around.
The area where it shines the most is its touch screen. Although the touchscreen in itself is not anything rare, the devices with 360-degree hinges are. The combination of touchscreen and such convertible design really comes in handy. Plus, the stylus, a pen that comes with it makes a huge difference.
Using this pen is pretty much similar to drawing on paper with a pen. I do not know about you but the people with even the slightest sense of creativity would find it appealing. It is for this very reason some call it the best laptop with a pen.
Moving on, the specifications of the device do not disappoint as well. The laptop is equipped with a powerful core i7 8th Gen processor and 16GB of RAM. Both of these chips find themselves among the best of the best. The point is you are not going to have any problem regardless of how demanding software you use.
Plus, it has 512GB of SSD for storage which also has an impact on the performance of the device. It reboots the device in a matter of seconds, reads, and transfers the data in a blink of an eye. Moreover, the capacity of the drive is also enough for most people.
If we talk about the battery backup, it provides 10-12 hours of backup on a full charge. The backup time is pretty decent considering the size and the design of the device. However, an area where it outperforms almost every laptop on the list is the price.
If you have been paying attention, you would know a device with likewise specifications does cost a lot. But, this particular device costs well below the grand which makes it the best hacking laptop. The point is, in case you want to get a quality device that does not break the bank, this is the best thing you can get your hands on.
|Processor||Core i7 8th Gen|
9. Lenovo Thinkpad Business Laptop-Feels Like Feather Lasts Like Metal
- Optimal specifications
- Excellent battery backup
- Durable and decent design
- Three USB ports
- Ergonomic keypad
Thinkpad has become one of the most popular series ever produced by Lenovo. The key reason for the success of this series is its versatility. Be it gamers, students or white hat hackers, this series has a piece of everyone. The laptop I am about to examine belongs to the same series.
The Thinkpad E590 is a fairly simple-looking design with a subtle red touch on the interior. The design of the device is compact but weighs a little high around five pounds. However, most of us do not walk with the laptops in bare hands. Thus, when it is stored in the backpack, the weight difference becomes unnoticeable.
Moving on, the device is a beast when it comes to specifications. It features a core i5 8th Gen processing chip with 16GB of RAM, both of which are highly efficient pieces of hardware. Moreover, it is equipped with 512GB of SSD storage which also makes quite an impact on the overall performance of the device.
The point is, all the software you need for ethical hacking would run flawlessly on this device. Plus, thanks to its powerful specifications, multitasking is not a problem as well. Even if you run four to five highly demanding software, the device would not present any glitch or lag.
For connectivity, the device has three USB ports two on one side and the one on the other. Two of these are USB 3.0 while the remaining one is 2.0. Personally, I find such a design quite appealing because it prevents the tangling of the wires.
Another interesting aspect of this device is the number of durability tests it has passed. The device has Military Standard 810G certification which means despite how it looks, it is a pretty durable device. So, even if you handle it a bit roughly it would withstand the abuse.
The only issue I have with this device is its price which is relatively high compared to its counterparts. Although the company cites several reasons behind it, I do not buy them. But in the end, it all comes down to you and your personal likings. If you find the device attractive, those few bucks do not matter anyway.
|Processor||Core i5 8th Gen|
10. Acer Aspire E 15-An Upgradable Device Perfect For Beginners
- Powerful Chip
- Upgradable RAM and ROM
- Excellent battery backup
- Decent GPU
- DVD Drive is available
While looking for a pentesting laptop one must also consider the level of ethical hacking one is going to do. In case, someone is a beginner, high-end laptops are not required. For these individuals, laptops like the Acer Aspire E 15 make the best laptop for hackers.
Acer Aspire features a traditional design with a touchpad slightly moved towards the left side. Plus, the Acer logo on the middle left side of the exterior looks cool. However, it is that matte finish of the laptop that sets it apart and makes it one of the most elegant devices on the market.
Moving on, as mentioned above, the laptop is best for hackers who are just starting out. Therefore, it has the specifications accordingly. The processor featured in it is the Core i7 8th Generation which is arguably one of the most powerful chips in the market. Since it is something that cannot be upgraded so it is wise to get a powerful board straight away.
However, when it comes to RAM and storage, these are about 8GB and 256GB respectively. I know it would not be enough as you learn more about hacking but the option of upgrading is always there. So, there is no need to spend a fortune on a laptop straight away. Start with this laptop and as you learn more about hacking keep upgrading the device. This simple trick would save a lot of burden from your pocket.
The laptop also has NVIDIA MX150 attached to it with 2GB of dedicated VRAM. It makes the device a fairly decent gaming machine that can provide a perfect way out from a stressful day. Plus, it also improves the overall display of the laptop and makes movie watching and internet browsing even more fun.
The only area where it lags is its design which is fairly bulky but because of this design, the company was able to attach a powerful battery to it. Therefore, it provides an excellent battery backup of around 15 hours. So, if you see it from this perspective, the bulkier design is in fact a blessing in disguise.
|Processor||Core i7 8th Generation|
Ultimate Buyer Guide For Selecting The Best Laptops For Pentesting
You set out to find the best laptop for hacking but to your surprise, there are tons of companies claiming to be the best. What now? How do you find which one is actually the best and suits the nature of the job you have? Well, what someone may find best is a subjective matter but I can help you with the factors you must look at before selecting the best laptop for hacking.
Determination of Your Level
The first thing to do while selecting the best laptop for hacking is to find the level of hacker you are and what is your domain. For example, a beginner who is just starting out would use different tools and applications than a pro, and therefore both of them would have a separate set of requirements.
Therefore, it is necessary to identify the tools you are going to use and select the laptop accordingly.
The processor is the brain of any device; the activity and performance of an application depend on it. The better a processor is the better the device would perform. Another point to remember is, the processor is probably the only part of the device that is irreplaceable. So, a lot of thought should go into it before you finally make your decision.
In my opinion, anything over 8th Gen core i5 is the best for pen-testing. It can run multiple demanding software at once and does not produce any glitches. This chip would perform best for most white hat hackers.
RAM and Storage
RAM and Storage are the two-key part of any device but unlike processors, these chips can be upgraded anytime. However, it does not mean that you neglect these while making the purchase. Always remember, it is the RAM and the type of ROM that is fit in your device that determines the reading and writing speed of the device. And these are the key parts of penetration testing.
So, like processors, a lot of thought should go into it as well. Personally, anything over 8GB in RAM and 512GB SSD drive is more than enough for low to mid-level ethical hackers. But In case you have some cash to spare, always go for the higher specifications. Because it is better to get a fully equipped device at once than to visit stores for upgrades that might damage the device.
Connectivity is probably the most important factor a hacker should look for in a laptop. White hat hackers have to install various types of hardware with their devices in order to check out vulnerabilities thoroughly. So, it is where you have to determine the type of hacking you are interested in it.
For example, if you are going to carry out penetration testing via ethernet, make sure the laptop has an ethernet port in it. Similarly, in case you are going to carry out a test via W-Lan make sure the laptop has good enough antennas to catch the Wi-Fi signals.
Furthermore, there are other accessories as well that need to be mounted to the laptop and you need USB ports for them. Therefore, look for the USB ports and make sure at least two of them are USB 3.0, which is the fastest one.
I know a variety of dongles are available in the market but nothing beats the built-in ports of the device. So, before purchasing the laptop, make sure it has everything you need so you do not end up regretting later.
Conclusion- Best Laptops For Pentesting
Well folks, there it is, everything we had on the best laptops for pen-testing. I hope this article has helped you in finding the best hacking laptop or has at least narrowed down your options. However, if you feel like we have left something out or have a query for us, let us know in the given section. We would love to respond. Thank you!
You can also check out or other Laptop related posts below.