Top 10+ Best Laptops For Pentesting / Hacking in 2020 (Reviews)

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‘Pentesting’ or penetration testing is nothing but ethical hacking of a computer system. This is done to evaluate and research the security of a system. The essential item for conducting pen-testing is a laptop. But, a regular or traditional laptop would be of no use for this special purpose. You need a laptop with certain features and highlights to carry out pentesting activities. This ethical hacking activity can be conducted on any system, laptop, servers, scanners, networks, or any other electronic devices with an internet connection.

Let me tell you why a normal laptop in the market won’t suffice this use. A traditional laptop would be of fair specifications, like good battery life, processor, RAM, etc. But, to do a penetration test one has to have an extraordinary laptop of great specifications, as this job would require much more than normal specifications. The laptop you choose must be able to work much faster with great battery life. Buying just a costly laptop also will not be enough. You should go through each specification of the laptop before you buy it. 

A high-speed processor along with a good graphics card is an absolute requirement for pen-testing. You will have to install certain kinds of software on your laptop to do pen-testing. Only a laptop with exact specifications, which will be mentioned in this article, will able to cope up and work great for pen-testing. Pentesting is a legal activity that is carried out as a security research action. There are exclusive software programs available to conduct this process. 

When you are all set to do pentesting, you will arrive at a point where you will be confused to choose the best laptop with good features. A laptop that works flawlessly is important for your job. You do not want your laptop to have lags while you work in front of your clients. A laptop with fast processing speed and good battery life will save you from this embarrassment and offer you a great reputation at work and among your peers. We have made your job simpler and shortlisted some of the best laptops available in the market for pen-testing. 

Top 10+ Best Laptops For Pentesting / Hacking in 2020

1. Acer Aspire E 15 (Aspire E series)

  • RAM: 8 GB 
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD 
  • Weight: 5.27 pounds
  • Color: Black

Acer Aspire E 15 is one of the best laptops available in the market for pen-testing. The laptop comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor. This is one of the biggest advantages of this laptop, as you can expect amazing speed with the desired performance. The i7 processors are known for their fast speed and efficient performance. 

The laptop’s price is reasonable for its specifications. It has a 15.6 inch full HD display screen. This will make you easy to work on as many software programs with ease. The battery life will last up to 15 hours after each charge. This will be sufficient for you to work after charging. 

The laptop provides RAM up to 8 GB and storage up to 256 GB. This will suffice for your business activities. You can also expand the storage in the future if necessary. The configuration of hardware in this laptop will make it easy to install hacking software. 

You will not face any hanging or performance lag in the laptop, as it uses the i7 processor. The laptop weighs about 5.27 pounds. It is portable and has a comfortable touchpad. It has a built-in DVD drive and an attractive backlit keyboard. The backlit keyboard makes it easy to work during nights.

Pros

  • Good battery life
  • Fast processor and hence fast performance
  • Backlit keyboard
  • HD display
  • DVD drive
  • Expandable storage
  • 8 GB RAM 

Cons

  • Few complaints on technical issues during internet connection

2. LG gram Laptop

  • RAM: 16 GB 
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD (2 x 512GB ) 
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Color: Dark silver

LG Gram laptop comes with a 15.6 inch full HD display. The laptop produces crystal clear display quality. The best feature of this laptop is its touch screen feature. The laptop is also very lightweight, making it extremely comfortable to carry around. The battery life is long-lasting and works for about 18 hours after each charge. 

LG Gram laptop uses the 8th generation i7 – 8565U processor. The laptop provides 16 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD storage space. It has a fingerprint reader to provide you data security. You do not have to worry about anyone using your laptop, as you can lock it with the fingerprint option. The keyboard has backlit features. 

The laptop comes with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, making it efficient for data transfer. You can make fast speed data transfer via multiple ports provided. The laptop is quite costly than its peers, but the specifications of it make it worth buying. 

The touchpad in the laptop supports up to four fingers and multi-touch gestures. Overall, the laptop offers premium performance, making your multitasking a piece of cake. It is an ideal choice for pentesting if you don’t have any budget issues. 

Pros

 

  • HD display
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • High RAM and storage facility
  • Premium quality performance
  • Light-weight and portable
  • Thunderbolt 3 connectivity
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Good battery life
  • Fast processo

Cons

  • High price
  • Few complaints on hard drive issues

3. ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Thin and Portable Laptop (VivoBook Pro 17 N705 series)

  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD 
  • Weight: 4.85 pounds
  • Color: Black with silver

The laptop comes with a 17.3 inch full HD display. With the HD display, you can view pictures and videos in amazing quality. It is thin and sleek, extremely comfortable to carry anywhere. It has a backlit keyboard to make it easy to use at night. The laptop uses NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4 GB discrete graphics to produce crystal clear visuals. 

It provides 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD storage. This is indeed a great plus in this model. Apart from being an ideal choice for pentesting, the laptop is also suitable for gaming purposes. The laptop has a fingerprint sensor for security. It has multiple ports to make your data transfer easier and faster. 

The laptop’s fast charging technology will save much of your time. It will charge up to 60 % in just 49 minutes. Web camera features are available in this model. The visuals in this laptop are vivid and of deep rich color tones. 

The keys on the keyboard are designed in such a way to provide an effortless typing experience. You will not even feel the hardness in typing for a longer time. The laptop provides a fast and rich performance as it uses the 8th generation Intel Core i7 – 8565U processor. The i7 processors always tend to outperform i5.

Pros

  • Fast processor
  • Backlit keyboard with comfortable keys
  • Light-weight and portable
  • Full HD display
  • Fast charging process
  • Multiple ports
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Great visuals  

Cons

  • Battery performance is quite mediocre

4. Acer Spin 3 Convertible Laptop

  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD 
  • Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Color: Black with silver

The laptop comes with a multi-touch convertible display, perfect for your convenience. This convertible laptop uses the 8th generation Intel Core i7 8565U processor to deliver ultimate performance and speed. 

It has a 14 inch full HD display. It provides 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 512 GB SSD storage. It comes with a rechargeable stylus to handle the laptop. You can use the stylus for typing, drawing, etc. The laptop has a dual front side facing speakers to deliver loud audio. The thin and sleek design of the laptop is an advantage. It will impress you on its first impression. It is light-weight and extremely easy and comfortable to carry around. 

The laptop has a good battery life. It provides up to 12 hours of battery life after each charge. You can just rotate the laptop in 360 degrees as per your comfortability. You can use it in multiple modes like tent mode, tablet mode, or laptop mode. 

The laptop is best for multitasking and provides fast performance. It has a fingerprint reader for your security. You do not have to worry about data theft or forgetting of lengthy passwords. You can lock it using your fingerprint. 

Pros

  • Good battery life
  • Fast performing processor
  • Rechargeable stylus 
  • Convertible display
  • Touchscreen
  • Thin, sleek and light-weight 
  • Good speakers 

Cons

  • It does not have a USB type C port

5. Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop ( L340 Gaming series )

  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD 
  • Weight: 4.84 pounds
  • Color: Black 

Lenovo IdeaPad L340 gaming laptop comes with a 15.6 inch full HD display. The laptop uses the 9th generation Intel Core i5 processor. With an i5 processor on board, the laptop offers good speed with fast performance. With the i5 processor, you will experience no lags or hanging during your work. 

The laptop provides 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 512 GB NVMe SSD storage. With NVIDIA GeForce graphics the laptop provides commendable visuals. The display comes with a 1920 * 1080 screen resolution. You will have a splendid visual experience with this laptop while you work.

The laptop uses Dolby Audio technology to deliver amazing sound quality. You can switch between various modes according to your work. Though it is a gaming laptop, it’s ultra-fast performance and speed makes it the best one for pen-testing. 

The laptop comes with a backlit keyboard. A keyboard with the backlit feature will help you work even during the nights with the utmost ease. The laptop’s processor makes hacking software run in it with fast speed. The laptop also has a special vintage eye care mode to protect your vision when you use it for a long time continuously.

Pros

 

  • Fast processor 
  • Full HD display
  • Good RAM and storage
  • NVIDIA GeForce graphics deliver great visuals
  • Portable
  • No lags in working
  • Backlit keyboar

Cons

  • Laptop gets heated when overused

6. Lenovo Thinkpad E590 Laptop (E590 Notebook PC)

  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD 
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds
  • Color: Black 

Lenovo Thinkpad E590 comes with a 15.6 inch HD display. The laptop is exclusively designed for business purposes. It uses the Intel Quad Core i5 – 8265U processor to deliver efficient performance with great speed. It has a web camera. The laptop is built in an attractive sleek black design. 

The laptop allows 1920 * 1080 screen resolution. The laptop is an ideal choice for business professionals, school students, home use, and for pentesting uses. The laptop has good durability. Lenovo Thinkpad provides 256 GB SSD storage with 16 GB DDR4 RAM. The laptop comes with Windows 10 Pro operating system. 

It has multiple ports including USB type C port, HDMI port, USB type 3.0 port, USB 2.0 type A Port, RJ-45 port, micro SD card reader, headphone, and microphone jack combined. The keyboard is simple and is not backlit.

As the laptop is a business laptop, it comes with built-in security features. This will be an add-on for your pen-testing activities. The laptop will make your work and multitasking easier and faster.

Pros

  • HD display
  • Good RAM and Storage
  • Web camera
  • Multiple ports
  • Ideal for business uses
  • Fast processor
  • Great performance speed 

Cons

  • Keyboard is not backlit

7. Apple MacBook Pro

  • RAM: 16 GB 
  • Storage: 512 GB 
  • Weight: 8.23 pounds
  • Color: Silver 

If you belong to the Apple family, then Apple MacBook Pro will undoubtedly be the best choice for your pen-testing. Apple MacBook Pro uses the ninth generation 6 core Intel Core i7 processor. The MacBook is the best in every aspect. 

It has a 16-inch retina display designed with true-time technology to produce original and brilliant colors. This model comes in two colors: Silver and space grey. It provides you 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. The MacBook uses AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics to deliver brilliant visuals. You can expand the storage in the future up to 8 TB. This is by far the highest storage in any notebook. 

The six-speaker sound system will deliver great audio quality. It works with extraordinary speed to impress you with your business works and pen-testing. The MacBook is known for its fast processing speed. It automatically cools down and has heat dispersing fins to work for more hours. 

You can open up to 100 files at a time and experience no lags in this MacBook. With all the brilliant features, the MacBook comes with a higher price. If you do not have any financial constraints, you can go ahead purchasing this efficient piece of work. 

Pros

  • Amazing processing speed
  • Great performance
  • Automatic cooling system to escape the heat
  • Good battery life
  • High definition visuals
  • Good audio quality in speakers
  • High RAM and storage 

Cons

  • Very costly to afford

8. Dell Inspiron i5577 ( 7342BLK-PUS series )

  • RAM: 16 GB 
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Weight: 5.66 pounds
  • Color: Black

Dell Inspiron i5577 is a gaming laptop that is also ideal for pen-testing. Many gaming laptops are designed with a high-performance feature that is also suitable for business purposes such as pen-testing. This laptop also belongs to that type.

It comes with the 7th generation Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor. It provides 16 GB RAM, which can be expanded up to 32 GB. It provides sufficient SSD storage up to 512 GB. The laptop weighs about 6 pounds. 

The laptop has a 15.6 inch full HD display. The display is an anti-glare LED-backlit display. It comes with Windows 10 Home Operating system. The laptop has a good battery life. It uses NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics to produce amazing visuals. The rear web camera resolution on this laptop is 2 MP.

The laptop is very sensitive to commands and delivers amazing speed and effective performance. It comes in a complete attractive black finish. This laptop is a bit costly, but worth every penny. The laptop has no built-in optical drive to connect DVDs or CDs. It is of medium weight and easily portable. You can carry it in your backpack anywhere you go. 

Pros

  • HD display
  • i7 processor
  • Great speed and flawless performance
  • Anti-glare LED-backlit display
  • Expandable RAM
  • Great storage capacity
  • Good picture and audio quality 
  • Portable  

Cons

  • No built-in optical drive
  • Bit costly

9. ASUS VivoBook ( Asus VivoBook F510 series )

  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 RAM 
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
  • Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Color: Grey

ASUS Vivobook is a thin and lightweight laptop that is easy to carry around with utmost ease. It comes with the 8th generation Intel Core i5 – 8250U processor. The laptop provides 8 GB of expandable RAM and 128 GB SSD storage and 1 TB HDD storage. It has a fingerprint sensor to provide security. 

You can lock your laptop using this feature to prevent data theft or anyone from using it. Vivobook comes with a 15.6 inch full HD display that produces crystal clear visuals. The keyboard is made of ergonomic design to elevate your comfortability. Vivobook has multiple ports such as USB 3.1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, and SD card ports.

NanoEdge display makes the screen look incredible. The modern technology incorporated in the Vivobook optimizes visuals and you can view the screen in any mode. The modes are normal mode, vivid mode, eye care mode, and manual mode. 

Vivobook’s fast processor and storage make it deliver amazing performance with super-fast processing speed. The display also optimized the brightness, contrast, and sharpness. This ASUS Vivobook model doesn’t have a backlit keyboard like its peers. The Ethernet port is also missing in the Vivobook. 

Pros

  • HD display
  • Optimization of visuals
  • Multiple visual modes
  • Fast processor
  • Good RAM and Storage capacity
  • Ergonomic keyboard design
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Multiple ports 

Cons

  • No backlit keyboard
  • No Ethernet port

10. MS Surface Laptop 3

  • RAM: 16 GB RAM 
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD 
  • Weight: 2.75 pounds
  • Color: Platinum / Matte Black / Cobalt Blue / Sandstone

The Microsoft Surface 3 laptop is a thin and extremely light-weight laptop. It has a 13.5-inch display. The Microsoft Surface 3 laptop comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor. I7 processors are generally known for amazing speed and efficient performance. 

The laptop comes with an attractive design, which is also available in many colors. The laptop has a good battery life. It will work up to 12 hours after each charge. The laptop is suitable to install hacking software programs. It is one of the ideal choices for you to carry out your pentesting activities. 

The laptop provides up to 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage capacity. This is indeed a great capacity to carry out as many activities as possible. The laptop has 2 USB ports: USB C type and USB A-type. It uses Intel Iris Plus Graphics to deliver amazing picture and video quality.

The laptop supports fast charging. You can charge it soon if you are running late or when you have an emergency work or something. It takes just about an hour for the laptop to charge up to 80 percent.

Pros

  • Thin and extremely light-weight
  • Portable
  • Great display quality
  • Good battery life
  • Laptop comes in multiple colors
  • High RAM and storage
  • 2 USB ports
  • Fast charging option
  • Great processing speed and commendable performance 

Cons

  • Some configurations are costly

Buyer’s guide

To carry out pentesting or security research on a system, a laptop should have a fast processing speed to deliver uninterrupted performance. This is very important as you will be working on multiple software programs on your laptop. Decide your budget and make sure your laptop compulsorily has these specifications to deliver an amazing performance. You can also prefer to purchase laptops that have good brand value rather than opting for a new brand. Reputed brands always tend to deliver satisfactory performance to impress their customers and maintain their integrity in the market. Apart from the brand value, take a look at these specs mentioned below on the laptop you are going to purchase. 

1. Budget

Budget is the first factor you should decide before reviewing other technical aspects of a laptop. This is relatable to any electronic device, irrespective of laptops. But, for the pen-testing budget is important, as the prices of laptops suitable for this activity are usually higher. Pentesting is a high profile activity and not carried out by everyone you see. Laptops that are best for ethical hacking come with prices higher than usual. They are generally a bit costly than your usual laptops, as the specs are special. But, you can always choose a laptop from the wide varieties within your budget. So, it is necessary to first decide your budget range and then start hunting for laptops. Then, it will be easy for you to find the laptop with good specs under your budget.

2. Processor

The processor is the foremost important factor for a laptop, as it decides the laptop’s speed and performance quality. You need a fast working processor in your laptop to carry out pen-testing. Pentesting requires installing hacking software on your system. A laptop with an i5 or i7 processor will be able to give you the desired performance you expect. Laptops with these processors make sure your computer runs smoothly with great speed. Though laptops with the i7 processor are a bit costly, it will give you amazing performance with great battery life. If you have any budget constraints, you can prefer the i5 processor. Laptops with the i5 processor comes a bit cheaper than those with the i7 processor. 

3. RAM and Storage

The next factor is the RAM and Storage of your laptop. Ethical hacking software requires at least 15 – 20 GB of space on your laptop. To install such software programs and to do multitasking you will need high storage and RAM. You will require a minimum of 4 GB RAM to carry out pentesting activities. Though 8 GB is a great choice, it is a bit costly. If you don’t have financial restrictions, you should opt for a laptop with 8 GB RAM. Coming to storage, you can either opt for SSD or HDD. SSD will offer you great boot time than HDD. But, it has its price. SSD storage laptops are costlier than HDD laptops. A minimum of 250 GB storage is mandatory. You can choose SSD or HDD based on your budget.

4. Battery life

This is another important factor to consider. Many laptop models tend to run out of battery soon. The higher the battery life, the higher it makes portability an easy task. You do not want your laptop to drain the battery very often. So, check the battery life of the laptop before you purchase it. You do not want to sit beside a plug-in all day. Pentesting requires your laptop to function for many hours. Good battery life is necessary to carry out this action. If you keep sitting near a plug point always to charge your laptop, it will affect the portability of the laptop. You won’t be able to move or travel anywhere.

5. Graphics card and WiFi

Make sure your laptop has a good graphics card that functions well. You can always opt for graphic cards that have a good brand value in the industry. Many laptops come with a graphics card that produces amazing visuals. You can check on them. Next is the WiFi. Internet connection is mandatory for any business-related activities. Therefore, a good WiFi feature is a mandatory thing for pen-testing. Check if your laptop has efficient WiFi connectivity options. You can also rely on external WiFi support for better functions. You will need an internet connection most of the time to carry out pen-testing.

FAQs

1. Which processor is ideal for pen-testing on a laptop?

For pen testing or ethical hacking, you can choose a laptop with either i5 or i7 processor. i7 processors are generally costlier than i5. So, based on your budget, you can decide one of two processors. i7 processors work much faster than i5 processors.

2. Is pentesting an illegal activity?

No, not at all! Pentesting is a completely legal activity. It is nothing but ethical hacking done on systems with legal support. It is mostly carried out for security research purposes. There are exclusive Operating System and software designed for this use.

3. How long does it take for single pentesting?

Pentesting usually takes longer than your usual computer activities. Pentesting an application or small connection system takes about a few days to complete. Pentesting a larger network will take up to weeks or even a month. It also depends on the person who does it and his efficiency.

4. In what types of systems pentesting is conducted upon?

Pentesting is done on a wide range of systems such as servers, operating systems, wireless systems, fax machines, computers, printers, devices with an internet connection, workstations, virtual environment, etc. Mostly, security research will be done on these devices.

5. What is the minimum RAM and storage needed for penetration tests?

You will need a minimum of 4 GB RAM for pen-testing. As for storage, a minimum of 250 GB is mandatory for efficient performance. But, without budget constraints, you can always prefer 8 GB RAM and higher SSD storage. This is a very important factor because your pentesting software programs and other hacking activities need more space to work efficiently. 

Before checking on all the above factors, decide your budget for the laptop. Within the decided budget, make sure your laptop comprises of all the specs mentioned above. A fast processor, long-lasting battery life, high RAM, and storage are mandatory factors among the others. No more wait, you can begin to hunt down the laptop for your hacking activities.