The Best Laptops for Pentesting

The Best Laptops for Pentesting

Best Laptops for Pentesting: Pentesting software tools and applications require a decently mechanized laptop that has strong features that can withstand the load of penetration testing.

You need to consider a lot of features including good battery life, memory, processing power, disk space while also considering the fact that the main task of a pentester is to perform operations to find loopholes and vulnerabilities in various software applications.

We have listed the best laptops for pentesting below that came out with flying colors during our sessions of ethical pentesting.

Do check them out and go through their specs to understand the type of laptop that you are looking for. At the end of the article, you will also find a buyer’s guide that will help you get through the purchase.

Best Laptops For Pentesting 2021

HP 17 Premium Laptop 2021

HP 17 Premium Laptop
HP 17 Premium Laptop
  1. CPU:  Intel Quad-Core i5-10210U (Beats i7-8650U)
  2. GPU: Integrated Intel Ultra HD Graphics
  3. RAM:8 GB DDR4
  4. Storage: 256 GB SSD
  5. Display: 17.3″ diagonal HD+ SVA BrightView WLED-backlit (1600 x 900)
  6. Connectivity: HDMI | USB3.0 | USB2.0 | WiFi + Bluetooth | Ethernet (RJ-45)

As the name of the laptop suggests, HP 17 premium is a laptop with top-notch features and premium facilities under an affordable price range. This laptop is very well suited for Pentesting owing to its decent specs and a very good specs configuration for the price you’ll pay.

To begin with, the specs, first of all, the laptop comes with an Intel Quad-Core i5-10210U Processor which is far better than all the Intel i3 processors. Not only that, if you compare the processing power of i5-10210U with i7-8650u, you will find the Intel i5-10210U to be actually better. Thus maintaining the required speed of the processing during penetration tests will be a piece of cake for this machine.

HP 17 premium does not come with an Nvidia graphics card for premium quality graphics support, but it has integrated Intel Ultra HD graphics for the minimum graphics support.

In this particular model, you get 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256 GB SSD storage in addition to other pieces of equipment of the laptop. If you have to run a lot more VMs together, you can pick up the other models with higher RAM and SSD configurations.

The SSD really helps up with the booting process and you can see improvements of up to 8x in the boot-up times.

Thus, there is not doubt to say that this windows laptop performs much better than penetration laptops that come with an HDD.

The keyboard is backlit and the keys are snappy enough to enjoy lengthy coding sessions in one go. The battery life is great as well. Overall, the specifications of this machine fit in quite well with the requirements.

Coming to the display part, the laptop has a beautiful 17.3-inch display which is a diagonal HD Plus SVG BrightView w led-backlit display, with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The display of the laptop is bright and is ready to show a clear and sharp screen in front of the user.

Regarding the connectivity choices, you have ports such as HDMI, USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and most importantly Ethernet Port.

The only possible downside I could find is the weight of this laptop. Since the laptop has a 17.3 inches screen, it is naturally heavier than laptops that have a 14″ screen size or 15.6″ screen size. If you can ignore the weight part, this is hands down the Best Laptop For Pentesting you can find in 2022.

Pros:

  • Fast Processing speed
  • Upgradeable RAM
  • Grand display size
  • Convenient storage
  • Ample connectivity options

Cons:

  • It is not a very lightweight option to call it portable
  • No dedicated Graphics Card

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro
Apple MacBook Pro
  1. CPU: Apple M1 Chip
  2. GPU: 8 Core GPU
  3. RAM: 8 GB DDR3
  4. Storage: 256 GB
  5. Display: 13.3 inches 2560×1600 Pixels

Apple MacBook Pro 13 is again one of the best laptops suitable for Pentesting software applications. HP premium is often compared to this beautiful device for its similar features and functions.

The laptop comes with Apple M1 Chip with is one of the fastest processors ever found on a Macbook Pro. The speed is enough to get your work done on time.

You will say thanks to this powerful machine when the urgent analysis is done in half the time with the processing power of the M1 Chip, making it one of the best in the market currently.

Apps like Zmap, Wireshark, Hashcat, John the Ripper, all work flawlessly. I can assure you that you will be having a great time Checking Exploitations and Collecting Info, pentesting web applications, etc.

For graphics support, this laptop has an 8 core GPU. It has 8 GB DDR3 RAM which is fine for smooth Pentesting works. The storage is 256 GB SSD storage. What we really like about the laptop, is a brilliant display which has a size of 13.3 inches and the retina display has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels.

This laptop has a sleek and fashionable design which is very lightweight. You can easily carry this laptop to your workplace and it looks attractive too. Overall this is a good choice for Pentesters wanting to run various Pentesting programs.

Pros:

  • Great Processing speed
  • Blazing fast RAM
  • Gorgeous Retina Display
  • Enough storage
  • High level of Privacy and Safety

Cons:

  • The price of the laptop is comparatively more than the other options in the list.
  • M1 Chip is still relatively new, so some apps might not be compatible.

Lenovo ThinkPad E15

Lenovo ThinkPad E15
Lenovo ThinkPad E15
  1. CPU: Intel 10th Generation Quad Core i5-10210U
  2. GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620
  3. RAM: 16GB DDR4
  4. Storage: 512 GB SSD
  5. Display: 15.6 Inches 1920x1080p
  6. Connectivity: 1 x USB 3.1 Gen-1 Type C Port , 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 port, 1 USB 2.0 port, HDMI 1.4b, RJ-45, Audio Combo Jack

If you want to purchase a laptop with ample connectivity options for running your Pentesting programs then having a good processor is a must.

Thankfully if you want a good processor to carry out the processing part of the program smoothly, you can reach out for Lenovo Thinkpad E580.

The laptop comes with a 1.6 GHz (max turbo to 4.2GHz) Intel 10th Quad Core i5-10210U processor. It uses Integrated Intel UHD Graphics for graphics support. Not having a dedicated graphics card is actually beneficial for Penetration Testers as laptops with dedicated graphics tend to consume more battery.

Both these features combine to deliver a faster performance comparatively. The RAM of the laptop is 16GB DDR4 RAM. You also get decent storage of 512GB SSD which is more than enough to keep your full-stack of networking applications that you desire.

Not just this the laptop has a beautiful 15.6 inches screen that is brightly lit along with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The HD display delivers all clear and bright images on the screen with standard screen size.

The connectivity options includes all necessary ports – 1 x USB 3.1 Gen-1 Type C Port , 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 port, 1 USB 2.0 port. The port selection is really good and if you are into larger security assessment of a network or service, you will appreciate the port selection. Thus, making this laptop a good pick for network scanning and mapping pentesting tools.

There is just one issue that we have noticed with the laptop, which is that if you run this laptop for too long continuously, the speed of the processing decreases a bit. Other than that everything about the laptop is fine and you’re good to go with it.

Pros:

  • Intel i5 Processor
  • Enough RAM
  • Bright Full HD display
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Good connectivity options

Cons:

  • Keyboard looks silly
  • Display is not that bright at certain viewing angles

Alienware m17 R4 – Premium Pick

Alienware m17 R4
Alienware m17 R4
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 processor
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6 GB GDDR6
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Display: 17.3 Inches 1920 x 1080

I think I am in love with this laptop.

But there’s nothing that’s not to love in this one

If a fast processing speed and a full HD display are all that you are looking for, then you can blindly go with Alienware m17 R4. This is an ideal laptop for Pentesting because it has an Intel Core i7 Processor with a fast clock speed of 5.0GHz Max Turbo Frequency.

The 1TB SSD along with the 8-cores and 16-threads of multi-threaded performance helps a lot if you are someone with multiple VM’s working for Pen Testing and Forensics.

What I really liked about this laptop is its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6 GB GDDR6 which excellently boosts the speed of the overall programming on the laptop.

It leads to a better experience with the graphics and delivers wonderful speed. The laptop is equipped with 16GB DDR4 RAM which again is so special to keep up the speed of the software programs.

The story does not end here, you are simply going to love the 17.3-inch display of this laptop which is big in size and full HD. It has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 which can deliver a clear, sharp, and vivid screen in front of the user.

Yes, this laptop is perfect for Pentesting applications provided you are comfortable with paying the cost. This also implies a better processor but a trade-off on battery life.

The design of the laptop is sleek and stylish. The integrated cooling fan is a guarantee that prevents the laptop from heating after being used continuously for longer durations of debugging and testing.

Pros:

  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Fast i7 Processor
  • Grand display size
  • Full HD display
  • Enough storage

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • The battery life could be better

ASUS VivoBook 15: Best Budget Laptop for Pentesting

ASUS-F512DA-EB51-VivoBook-15
ASUS VivoBook 15
  1. CPU: Ryzen 5 3500U
  2. GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 8
  3. RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  4. Storage: 256 GB SSD
  5. Display: 15.6 Inches Full HD
  6. Connectivity: USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, HDMI, and Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)

If you are a student trying to crack the OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional) Exams, you will definitely love this budget pick. 

The Asus Vivobook S15 is the choice of many users who use Pen Testing tools and applications.

Pen testers often need to run some CPU-intensive applications that require a combination of high-end features that can allow them to function well to provide a speedy performance along with quality. Speaking about this laptop, it has a full HD display of 15.6 inches.

The resolution of the displays 1920 x 1080 pixels is so important nowadays to have a good experience with the screen of the laptop. The storage of the laptop is 256 GB SSD and it has a RAM of 8GB DDR4.

Both the storage and RAM are good for running the programs smoothly. We truly appreciate the AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics support on the laptop. It is one of the few laptops that come with a dedicated graphics card at an affordable price. You can also say that it is hands down the best laptop for oscp.

Above all, it has a fast processor with a 3.6 GHz clock speed of Ryzen 5, which accentuates the working speed of the user besides ensuring a seamless data performance. For the connectivity options, you have HDMI, Bluetooth, and USB type C ports.

Pros:

  • Beautiful screen
  • Decent RAM
  • Large storage
  • Ample connectivity options
  • Full HD display

Cons:

  • Costly

ASUS ROG Strix Scar II

ASUS ROG Strix Scar II
ASUS ROG Strix Scar II
  1. CPU: 3.9 GHz core i7
  2. GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  3. RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  4. Storage: 1 TB HDD
  5. Display: 17.3 Inches 1920 x 1080 Pixels
  6. Connectivity: USB C and others

Asus Rog Strix Scar II is a full HD laptop with a USB C connection. It is one of the most upgraded laptops with a spectacular performance and complementing specs. The laptop comes with a 3.9 GHz Intel Core i7 Processor to speed up any work performed on the laptop. You hardly get to see hiccups and useless breaks during work. The best part of the laptop is the good GPU support of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphic card.

Apart from a decent processor and good graphics support the laptop also carries 16GB DDR4 RAM that excels in keeping the work at a frictionless speed. The laptop is equipped with 1TB HDD storage. It feels so gorgeous to see a 17.3 inches large screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

The clarity, the sharpness, the liveliness of the screen is worth admiration. All the specs of this laptop complement each other and help it top the list of highly demanded laptops for major uses. The laptop’s build is strong and sturdy maintaining a lightweight facility so that the user can travel with it.

Pros:

  • Fast Processing speed
  • USB C Connectivity
  • Big display size
  • Convenient storage
  • Good Graphics support

Cons:

  • Heats Up

Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300
Acer Predator Helios 300
  1. CPU: 4.5 GHz Intel core i7
  2. GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti
  3. RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  4. Storage: 512 GB SSD
  5. Display: 15.6 Inches 1920 x 1080

 For the users who need an all-rounder laptop that leaves no space for complaints and questions about its specs, you must purchase Acer Predator Helios 300. This is a strong laptop with powerful specs and accelerated working speed which is difficult to match.

All the features of the laptop combine well to make it count in a high-end product list and suitable for Pentesting software programs. The laptop comes with a 4.5 GHz intel core i7 processor with a remarkable processing speed.

The speed of your work is kept intact with the help of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card and 16GB DDR4 RAM. Apart from these, the laptop features 512GB SSD storage.

Finally revealing more about its beautiful display which is brightly lit with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. It is a standard 15.6 inches display with great clarity and precision.

The display’s color production is balanced where you can distinguish clearly between the dark and lighter shades of colors. The battery life is pretty average with 6 hours of screen time. But when you take into consideration that it is a gaming laptop, the battery life is pretty good.

Hence it makes an excellent choice for being a good Pentesting testing software laptop.

Pros:

  • 16 GB RAM
  • Fast Processing
  • Beautiful Full HD display
  • Colossal storage
  • Perfectly combined specs

Cons:

  • A little costly

Some Important specs of pentesting laptops:

CPU:

The CPU is the most important feature you look out for in a pentesting laptop. You may go for CPUs starting from Intel Core i3 processors to Intel Core i7 Processor. The basic difference that you will be getting in these laptops will be the speed of the processing. Investing in an upgraded generation processor ensures a better speed and smooth performance of the software programs.

Only CPU is not the only thing you should look at. The threads of the CPU is also an important factor for consideration. Larger number of threads ensure faster processing with multi-thread operations.

Other important thing to look for in a CPU is the clock speed. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the number, the better the performance. However it varies from processor to processor.

GPU:

Who does not want to have a laptop with an Nvidia GeForce graphics card? Good graphics support not just delivers stunning image quality on the screen of your laptop but it also empowers the speed of your work. Hence it is good to have a laptop with Nvidia GeForce graphics.

Although, it must be taken in to note that GPU is not that important in comparison to the CPU specifications of the laptop in case of ethical hacking.

RAM:

If we talk about a suitable laptop for Pentesting, then you can select a RAM in between 8GB DDR4 and 16GB DDR4. If you are running multiple Virtual Machines at once, I recommend that you can also bump up to 32GB or 64GB RAM. The DDR4 RAM is best to ensure a smoother and breakless performance of your laptop.

RAM is a very essential factor when you are looking to buy out a laptop for this purpose. RAM is probably going to have the most impact on VM performance. Having added RAM also ensures that your machine is future proof.

Storage:

The minimum storage requirement that you may look for should be 256 GB SSD. SSD storage works faster than HDD storage. So it is best if you can get your hands on 512GB SSD storage. But since laptops that come with 512GB SSD storage become a little pricey, you can settle down with a decent 256 GB SSD storage.

If you want to run a lot of VMs together, you definitely should look out for more storage.

Display:

The Display of a laptop has too many points to affect its quality. First of all the resolution of your display can be either HD, Full HD, or even WQHD. Mostly we find laptops with a full HD display that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This resolution is good enough to work with Precision, clarity, and brightness. Make sure that the display has a balanced color production. Also, the IPS panel and Anti Glare Technologies enhance the quality of the display of a laptop.

Battery Life:

It is no doubt that a single penetration testing session can last for hours. Thus, having a good battery life will help you make sure that you don’t have to look out for your charger every few hours. Other than the Alienware m17 R4, most laptops on this list of the best laptops for penetration testing have great battery life.

Your Turn: Which is the best laptop for pentesting according to you?

Daniel Moore
Daniel Moore is a Tech-Enthusiast always looking out for the Newest Tech and is fond of this online world. Being always behind the lenses and screen, he is the go-to guy for people when it comes to product suggestions and recommendations. Cannot work without dozes of coffee at small intervals.