Searching for a high-performance laptop optimized for penetration testing in 2024?

In this blog, we present the best laptops for pentesting, catering to the demanding needs of cybersecurity professionals. We explore options from powerful laptops with advanced processors and ample memory to models with robust security features and exceptional connectivity, including portability and battery life considerations.

With over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and IT hardware, we’ve provided numerous professionals with the tools needed for effective pentesting. Our team has thoroughly tested these laptops under real-world cybersecurity scenarios, ensuring they deliver the processing power, security, and reliability essential for advanced pentesting tasks.

Here’s a breakdown of the best laptops for penetration testing this year:.

What’s everyone’s preferred laptop for pen testing?

HP 2019 Newest HP 17 17.3″ HD+ (1600×900) Premium Laptop

  • HP’s 17.3-inch HD+ Premium Laptop should always be your first choice when it comes to performing pen tests.
  • Apple’s MacBook Pro should not be compared to this laptop. You can use this laptop to conduct pen testing on all its features.
  • Throughout the enterprise, efforts are concentrated on enhancing the processor to enhance the user experience so that pen-testing users won’t face any difficulties using the laptop.
  • The HP 17 Premium was created so that HP could offer customers the best pen-testing services.
  • A premium HP laptop won’t let you down when it comes to performance. RAM is 8GB on this laptop. A pentesting service can greatly benefit from it.
  • A core i5 processor is installed on this laptop. The graphics on this laptop will make it more enjoyable to use. Besides offering UHD graphics, the device consumes a small amount of power.

You will still be able to enjoy the same level of graphics quality even if you are working on the laptop for a long time.

What We Like

  • RAM can be upgraded.
  • This graphics card supports UHS.
  • Displays a wide range of information.

What We Don’t Like

  • A laptop this heavy is tough to carry.

Apple 13″ MacBook Pro Retina, Touch Bar

  • A laptop with a Core i7 processor is essential for successful penetration testing. With turbo-boosting, the processor can reach 4.5 GHz.
  • The speed of this device is perfect for pen-testing.
  • Having 32 GB of memory on this amazing laptop will make it easier for you to download files and store them without any hassle.
  • This battery allows you to conduct penetration testing for a longer period of time. The Apple MacBook Air Pro features a full LED display with beta graphics. Therefore, you won’t be disappointed with its display. Support for P3 colors is also included. The easy-to-understand colors facilitate pentesting for the user.
  • The GPU and GDDR memory on board provide high-quality graphics.

What We Like

  • Displays information in high quality.
  • The battery lasts for a long time.
  • This device has 32GB of memory.
  • The graphics provided by Radeon are intense.

What We Don’t Like

  • This laptop is very expensive.

Lenovo ThinkPad E580 15.6 inch High-Performance Business laptop

If you are looking for a laptop that boasts a modern design, this Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is a perfect choice. Laptops like this are perfect for professionals and business users.

  • The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 uses an Intel Core i5 processor. As a result, you are more likely to perform your tasks quickly and efficiently. The laptop might perform slowly when used for a long time.
  • This Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is ideal for users because it can be used without any problems.
  • In addition to this laptop, you will receive a 32GB memory card. Battery life is also 13 hours. Having this information makes pen-testing easier. Thus, you may want to consider Lenovo laptops.
  • With regards to graphics, you will also find a 15.6-inch HD display on this laptop. The AMD Radeon enhances graphics.
  • A 750-pixel camera and dual-array microphones are also included. Besides WiFi and Bluetooth, it also supports USB connections. HDMI and SD cards are also available as connectivity options.

What We Like

  • Its style and unique design make it stand out from the crowd.
  • This memory upgrade provides improved performance.
  • A high-definition display is provided.
  • There are several options for connectivity.
  • Suitable for all budgets.

What We Don’t Like

  • Specs aren’t up to date.

Dell Alienware 17 R5 VR Ready 17.3″ LCD Gaming Notebook

  • It offers the best features all around. If you are considering such a laptop, this should be your pick. Intel’s Core i7 8th generation processor makes this laptop a high-performance machine. The processor operates at 3.9 GHz.
  • It comes preinstalled with Windows 10, which does away with the need to install special programs to run the pentesting software.
  • Dell Alienware laptops come equipped with full-featured fan cooling systems.
  • The processor will not only remain cool for a long time but you will not be interrupted as you work.
  • Up to four hours can be gotten from the battery. 9.74 pounds is the weight of this laptop.
  • The display measures 16.7 inches. 1920 x 1080 pixels are displayed on this laptop. With graphics, you get more visuals on your laptop, which makes it easier to work.

Apart from that, you will also have enough storage space to do your work with the Dell Alienware laptop.

What We Like

  • Delivers high-quality audio.
  • The graphics are of high quality.
  • It heats up very little.
  • Keyboards of the highest quality.

What We Don’t Like

  • The battery’s life is very short.

ASUS VivoBook S15 S512 Thin and Light 15.6” FHD

  • As a pentester, you should always choose the ASUS VivoBook S15 as your best laptop option. As an ideal choice, this laptop comes in a glamorous design. VivoBook’s 15.6-inch screen is more than twice the size of other laptops.
  • Laptops are equipped with cameras at the top. Your work will be easier to complete since it has high audio quality.
  • The keyboard has a full backlight. The keystrokes will not fail and you will be able to type longer without errors.
    You will have optimum performance while working on this laptop since it has a top-of-the-line Intel Core i7 processor.
  • The multitasking capabilities and long working hours make this laptop perfect for long hours. You can store a lot of work on this device because it has 8 GB of RAM. It’s simple for you to download files without error since it has 256 GB of memory.
  • This battery stores a great deal of energy and charges quickly. It takes the battery an hour to charge fully. A pentester can store information without error due to its large storage capacity and frequent data changes.
  • You won’t have to type long passwords every time you log in with the Asus VivoBook because it comes with a finger sensor. There is also an SD card reader, USB 3.1, and USB type C HDMI.

What We Like

  • Super widescreen is one of the features of this laptop.
  • The display has a full HD resolution.
  • A 256GB memory module is provided.
  • Stores a lot of stuff.
  • Faster charging is available.

What We Don’t Like

  • The laptop is expensive.

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II Gaming Laptop

It has a modern design and a unique build, which makes it one of the most ideal laptops for customers. If you are looking for a laptop that provides exceptional features, then the ASUS ROG Strix II would be a wise choice.

  • With a display size of 17.3 inches and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, the ASUS ROG Strix comes with a large screen. Both sides of the central line of the front flap have contrasting finishes on their backs.
  • You can work for a long time on laptops without experiencing any problems. Moreover, its modern design gives it a beautiful finish on the back.
  • As well as being easy to use, the webcam provides 1920 x 1080 pixels. You might get dark images because the ASHS did not really improve webcam quality.
  • The smooth, durable keyboard that comes with this laptop will make typing much easier for you. In addition to ROG Overstroke technology, it is customized. Additional keys are also available for system control.
  • This laptop has the most recent technology at its disposal, thanks to Intel’s Core i7 processor. The laptop is, therefore, able to function smoothly. There won’t be any problems to deal with, even if you work longer hours. With 16 GB of RAM, this laptop features a battery life of about four to five hours and charges quickly.
  • Reducing the screen brightness can allow for an increase in battery life of 5–6 hours.

A cooling fan is also built into the ASUS ROG, preventing the laptop from beating up even if it is constantly under force. When it comes to ASUS laptops, they are capable of handling large files.

What We Like

  • Performs at a high level.
  • High-definition display.
  • Fan-cooled. Includes a power supply.
  • Batteries that last longer.

What We Don’t Like

  • The temperature rises more quickly.
  • Long-term use is not recommended.

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Pen-testing is made easier with the Acer Predator Helios. If you plan on using pentesters for a long period of time, this is the laptop for you. It has one of the best display screens of any laptop, which is what makes it such a great computer.

  • Another advantage of the Predator Helios is its simplicity. Laptops run smoothly because of their processors. A 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor is built into the laptop.
  • Using Pentesters software on this processor will ensure smooth system operation. Featuring a 6GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX60 graphics card, this laptop provides high graphics. It has a 15.6-inch LED screen.
  • The Acer Predator Helios is a good fit for users due to its 512 GB of storage. Its storage, too, can be upgraded, so this is another plus for the Acer Predator Helios. You won’t have to worry about running out of storage because large files can be stored easily.

The Acer Predator Helios is the best option when considering battery life. Its battery lasts for six hours. Laptops do not require constant charging.

Pentesters will find this laptop to be a good choice because of this feature.

What We Like

  • 16 GB of RAM is included in the laptop.
  • Up to six hours of battery life can be expected from the Predator Helios.
  • It has an intuitive interface that makes using it easy.

What We Don’t Like

  • In comparison to other laptops, the Acer Predator Helios is quite expensive.

Buying Guide to the Best Laptops for Kali Linux and Pentesting

If you do not have certain factors in mind, finding the right product can become a hard task. This buying guide might help you land on a particular product, so we put this together to alleviate this hassle and assure a smooth shopping experience.


When planning your wedding, keep your budget in mind. Getting your hands on the best laptop may be difficult if you have a limited budget, but you should not worry if you can afford it. We’ve listed several laptops above that have been an easy match between price, features, and specifications. This way, you can get a product that is affordable without compromising on functionality.


Memory is an important consideration when choosing pentesting laptops. You need to make sure that you are well-equipped in that department since this task might require you to download a lot of data and applications. Having enough RAM allows you to ensure the smooth and efficient execution of all of your tasks. Ensure the laptop you are getting has expandable RAM if you are getting one with less RAM.

The Processor

It is an essential component of any computer or laptop. The results are intended to be an indication of your laptop’s ability to perform a certain task. Lagging and slow performance are only the results of a slow and inefficient processor. Users are often advised to buy laptops with an i5 processor or higher when they are looking for pen-testing tools. You will experience faster-functioning speeds the more powerful your processor is.


The next question is how long your laptop will last. When we are trying to identify the weak points and vulnerabilities of the software or application, penetration testing can take many hours at a time. It will be necessary for you to have an adequate battery life since you will be testing the software, etc. When the computer shuts down while the user is working, it is extremely irritating, so the solution is to make sure your laptop has a good battery life so you don’t waste time charging it.


Everyone needs a way to store their things. Think about how much storage you’ll need and decide which laptop would be best for you. When you purchase a storage unit, you should determine the amount of space you need ahead of time. When calculating the amount of storage space you will need, don’t forget to include your personal data as well as your professional data. Testing prefers SSDs to HDDs for penetration. This will give you some wiggle room and prevent you from getting those annoying notifications about full storage. You can simply choose ones that have additional external storage if you cannot afford one with a lot of storage.

Graphics Card

When it comes to the quality of the images on screen, graphics cards are of paramount importance. A graphic card with at least 2GB is required for penetration testing. You will need a graphic card of at least 4GB if you plan on using the laptop extensively for hacking.

Item Weight

Always choose a laptop that’s portable enough so that you can move it around easily. Laptops are far more convenient to own than PCs because they can be moved around. Owning a bulky laptop may not render you as privileged as those who do not. It is suggested that you choose sleek and lightweight ones if you feel comfortable carrying any heavy objects around on your shoulders. Instead, choose the heavier ones if you think you will be capable of carrying them around.


A bigger screen will make your job much easier. Although a display isn’t a requirement for penetration testing, having one will make it much more comfortable to work with. If you are looking for larger screens, anything above 15 inches is fine. Go with the model that makes you feel the most comfortable because, as I mentioned in my previous post, this is entirely a matter of personal preference. If you plan on viewing and streaming content on the laptop as well as playing games, then a larger screen will be better for you.

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FAQs on the Best Laptops For Pentesting (Penetration Testing)

How much RAM do I need for testing?

For basic penetration testing tasks, a minimum of 8 GB of RAM is recommended. However, if you plan on running multiple virtual machines, using resource-intensive tools, or simulating complex network environments, 16GB to 32GB of RAM would be more suitable. Advanced professionals who run several VMs simultaneously might even opt for 64GB. Always assess the specific tools and tasks you’ll be working with to determine the ideal RAM for your setup.

Is penetration testing illegal?

Penetration testing, in itself, is not illegal. It is the practice of testing a computer system, network, or application to identify vulnerabilities that attackers might exploit. What makes it legal or illegal is the context and permissions involved.

  1. With Permission: If penetration testing is done with the explicit consent of the organization that owns the system or network, it’s considered legal. This is often referred to as “ethical hacking.” Organizations hire or authorize penetration testers to identify and fix security weaknesses.
  2. Without Permission: Conducting penetration testing without the consent of the system’s owner is illegal. Unauthorized access, even with good intentions, can lead to criminal charges under laws like the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in the U.S. or the Computer Misuse Act in the U.K., among others.
  3. Contracts and Scope: Even when permission is granted, it’s essential for penetration testers to operate within the agreed-upon scope. Overstepping or testing systems not covered in the agreement can lead to legal complications.
  4. Certifications and Conduct: Many ethical hackers obtain certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) to showcase their skills and professional approach. Following ethical guidelines is crucial.

In conclusion, while penetration testing serves a critical role in improving cybersecurity, it must be conducted responsibly and legally. Always ensure you have the necessary permissions and understand the agreed-upon boundaries before starting any penetration testing activities.

When using Kali Linux and pen-testing, will the MacBook work well?

The best choice is Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion VMs, which you can download on any MacBook or Windows PC. Regardless of whether you use a Mac or Windows laptop, you’ll always need a virtual machine to get the most out of your computer. As a result, the OS does not matter.

Which processor is best for testing?

Pentesters can make the most of any generation of Intel Core i7 processors since it provides them with outstanding performance at a low cost. This chip does not provide as much power as an i9, but its price is much lower than an i7. A budget-friendly Intel Core i5 processor might be able to handle your requirements. There’s just one catch: It won’t be as fast as an Intel Core i7 of the 8th generation.


In order to make sure that your Pentester software works properly with any laptop, you must have a processor that is of high quality so that you won’t encounter any issues.

This article will demonstrate which laptop best meets your needs for pen-testing. Your budget should also be taken into consideration. Ensure the laptop you buy is within your budget.

As a result of reading the entire article, you can choose the laptop that will run the Pentester software as easily as possible.