Best Laptops

The Best Laptops for Hacking In 2019

Best Laptops for Hacking

Laptops have become more and more popular and relevant in the last few years. Actually, they’ve become so important that numerous brands have taken up making specialized laptops. Nowadays, we have laptops for gaming, for watching movies, listening to music, you name it. Today we’re going to talk about a very specific branch of laptops – the ones that are used for hacking.

Many people attribute all sorts of negative synonymous to hacking. That’s mainly out of fear of becoming a victim of hacking. However, there’s a world of differences between a ‘professional’ and an ‘ethical’ hacker.

Ethical hackers test out the limits of PCs and laptop’s protective systems, and we’ll be talking about laptops that will help you do that in the easiest way possible for the least amount of cash. If you are looking for the best laptops for hacking, you’ve come to the right place. Without any further more, let’s get straight to it.

Model CPU RAM GPU
1. Acer Aspire 5 Laptop (Editor's Choice) Intel Core i5-8265U 8GB DDR4 Intel UHD Graphics 620
2. Apple MacBook Pro Intel Core i5 (7th Gen) 16GB DDR4 Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
3. ASUS VivoBook S15 Laptop Intel Core i5-8265u 8GB DDR4 Intel UHD Graphics 620
4. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Laptop Intel Core i5-8250U 8GB DDR4 Intel UHD Graphics 620
5. HP 2019 Premium Laptop Intel Dual Core AMD A6-9225 8GB DDR4 AMD Radeon R4

Top 5 Best Laptops for hacking

#1 Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

best laptops for hacker

Let’s start with Acer’s Aspire 5 Slim Laptop. Essentially, this is a powerhouse laptop outfitted with some serious specs. It could easily pass on for a gaming laptop, but it’s actually pretty great for hacking and pen-testing.

First of all, the Aspire 5 Slim Laptop packs the 8th gen Intel Core I5 8265U processor that sports 4 GHz of power. Suffice to say, this type of CPU lets you run virtually every modern hacking tool without encountering any problems along the way.

Secondly, the Aspire 5 Slim Laptop comes supplied with 8 gigabytes of DDR4 memory. Again, this is several times more RAM than you need to run several hacking programs simultaneously. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that such a combination of CPU and RAM is absolutely great for gaming too.

Now, let’s talk a bit about connectivity. The Aspire 5 packs all kinds of USB ports, including one 3.1 Type-C port, two 3.1 Gen-1 ports, one 2.0 port, and one HDMI Port. With that being said, it’s quite easy to notice why Aspire 5 is labeled as a laptop with superior connectivity.

Moreover, what makes this laptop so good for hacking is the fact that it comes outfitted with 802.11ac Wi-Fi. This is a relatively old feature, although it does bring a series of benefits to the table. Such would be extended forms of channel binding, an increase in MIMO based spatial streams, improved modulation, and such.

Additionally, the keyboard is backlit for better visibility, and there’s the fingerprint reader feature. The latter substantially improves the overall security of this laptop.

In terms of battery life, Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is pretty great as well. The battery of this laptop can survive up to nine and a half hours. That should be more than enough for you to practice ethical hacking and pen-testing, and then some.

Last, but not least, the Aspire 5 Slim Laptop features Intel’s premium-quality UHD 620 GPU. This graphics card is very powerful and will allow you to perform hacking operations quickly.

The only thing that’s not so great about Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is its pre-built Windows 10 operating system. Namely, since you can’t hack on any form of Windows OS, you will need to re-install it and upgrade to a more suitable one, such as Linux for example.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: Acer
  • Display:  15.6 inches
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256 SSD
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U 8th Gen
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours
Pros
  • Very powerful CPU suitable for gaming too.
  • Great graphics card.
  • Superior connectivity with plenty of USB ports.
  • High battery lifespan.
Cons
  • Comes with pre-installed Windows OS.

#2 Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro

Next up is Apple’s MacBook Pro. Essentially, this is a laptop for people who’ve learned the ropes of hacking and are looking for an upgrade.

This laptop features a dual-core 2.3 Gigahertz Intel i5 central processing unit. It might be overkill for a beginner hacker, but it’s a necessity for a seasoned veteran. On the plus side, a CPU as strong as this will generally make the entire laptop pretty fast overall.

Now, onto the graphics, we’ve seen that Acer’s Aspire 5 comes with Intel’s UHD 620 GPU, which was quite awesome in its own right. This configuration of Apple MacBook features the Iris Plus 640 GPU, which is even stronger and faster in comparison.

Those are not the only improvements between these two models. Namely, the Aspire 5 had about 9,5 hours of battery while Apple MacBook features up to full ten hours of battery lifespan. Additionally, this laptop also packs the Brilliant Retina type of display. It’s substantially less fatiguing on the eyes so that you can do perform hacking for more extended periods.

Moreover, even the operating system of this laptop is phenomenal. Namely, the Apple MacBook comes with Mac OS Mojave. This basically means that it’s set to go straight out of the box. There’s no need to reinstall drivers or to upgrade, as Mac OS has everything you need unless you want to switch over to Linux Kali, that is.

There’s only one downfall of this configuration of Apple’s Macbook, tough. Namely, it costs quite a lot being in the medium bracket of the boutique price point category. Additionally, although this might or might not be considered as a deal-breaker, most Apple MacBooks can’t be used for anything else aside from programming, coding, hacking, and such.

In good hands, this might be the best laptop for hacker based professions. It packs strong specs and an amazing set of features. If you don’t mind saving up, it holds huge value for the money.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: Apple
  • Display:  13 inches
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 158/256 SSD
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 (2.3 GHz Dual-core )
  • GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
Pros
  • Ultra strong processor unit.
  • Rapid solid state drive.
  • Anti-glare features.
  • Comes with pre-installed Mac OS Mojave.
Cons
  • Costs quite a lot.

#3 ASUS VivoBook S15 S512 Thin and Light Laptop

best hacking laptops

Here we are looking at a bit less expensive option for an experienced hacker. The Asus Vivobook S15 Thin and Light laptop sports a wide array of high-spec features, such as the i5 8265U CPU, wide-view 15,6-inch screen, plenty of RAM, and exceptional connectivity.

The first thing you’ll probably notice about Asus VivoBook S Ultra laptop features a similar type of connectivity in comparison to Acer’s Aspire 5. There’s one USB 3.1 Type C port, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI port. On top of that, it also sports a dual-band 802.11ac type Wi-Fi. However, Apple’s MacBook has a feature that makes both of these laptops look a bit outdated. The two Thunderbird 3 USB C ports really tip the scales in Apple laptop’s favor.

Further on the note of connectivity, this laptop also utilizes the Bluetooth 4.1 feature. It’s true that version 4.1 isn’t the newest one, but it’s still better than no Bluetooth at all. That’s not the only similarity, though. Most notably, Asus VivoBook S15 laptop packs 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, precisely like the Aspire 5.

Now, let’s discuss some of the most notable differences between these two laptops. First and foremost, the 8th gen i5 8265U 2.3 GHz dual-core CPU is superior. The additional core really makes a difference by a long shot, especially once you start multitasking. Most notably, a dual-core CPU is superior to single core models because certain advanced hacking tools can’t be utilized without them.

One of the greatest features of the Asus Vivo Book is its slim profile. Namely, this is a 14.2 inch laptop that’s only 0,7 inches thick (or better said, thin). It utilizes Asus’ patented Nano-Edge bezel technology with 80% of screen to body ratio.

In terms of price, it’s drastically less expensive than Apple’s Mac Book Pro, but it’s still far from being ‘cheap’ per see. Nevertheless, this is one of the best laptops for hacking as the features it comes supplied with are absolutely phenomenal.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: ASUS
  • Display:  15.6 inches
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256 SSD
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8265u
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours
Pros
  • Compact, slim profile, and design.
  • Outstanding connectivity with plenty of ports.
  • Bluetooth version 4,2.
  • Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Cons
  • Not exactly robust in terms of build quality.
  • Mediocre battery lifespan.

#4 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Laptop

hacking laptop reviews

We’ve taken a gander at what Dell had to offer and settled for the Inspiron 15 5000 laptops. In fact, the Inspiron 15 5000 might be the best laptop for cyber security within the price range. It packs a big touchscreen display, an incredibly strong processor, plenty of storage space, and awesome connectivity. Let’s break this up piece by piece.

First of all, the Inspiron 15 5000 sports a 15.6 inch LED-backlit touchscreen with 1920 by 1080 pixel display. The screen is so big that it’s actually perfect for watching movies and gaming too. Sadly, the graphics card of the Inspiron could’ve been a little better. This model features integrated Intel-620 graphics which are pretty great, but should you want an upgrade, you’ll need a new laptop.

On the plus side, the processor unit is absolutely amazing. Dell’s Inspiron 15 5000 comes outfitted with a quad-core 1.6 gigahertz i5-8250U processor. In our entire review, the Inspiron 15 5000 has the strongest CPU so far, up to the point that some might even say that it’s too powerful. We’d beg to disagree, as hacking processes are incredibly overwhelming in this department, so the stronger, the better.

In terms of RAM, this laptop is pretty much on equal grounds with every model we’ve covered so far. Namely, all of them feature 8 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, and this one is not an exception.

The connectivity is also great. The Inspiron packs two USB 3.1 ports, one USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI port, two dual-band wireless ACs, and the Bluetooth version 4.2. Though not the latest version, this Bluetooth is quite better than the 4.1 version that Asus VivoBook comes supplied with.

Moneywise, the Dell Inspiron is a great catch. It’s among the most affordable laptops in our review, yet it offers some of the best specs. Of course, it’s still quite expensive for a beginner hacker, although not nearly as Apple’s MacBook or Asus VivoBook.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: Dell
  • Display:  15.6 inches
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1 TB HDD
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U
  • GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics 620
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours
Pros
  • Some of the most powerful CPUs.
  • Tremendous connectivity.
  • Exceptional value for the money.
  • Suitable for both professionals and beginners.
Cons
  • SATA is used for storage.
  • Intel’s integrated graphics.

#5 HP 2019 Newest Premium Laptop

HP 2019 Newest Premium

We’re wrapping it up with HP’s 15.6 inch HD laptop. First of all, we need to make it clear that this is the cheapest option you could possibly get in the range of quality laptops for hacking and pen-testing. Even though it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, the HP 15.6 inch HD laptop offers much in terms of performance.

It packs Intel’s AMD A6 9225 dual-core 2.6 gigahertz CPU, Radeon’s R4 GPU, and 8 gigabytes of RAM. In a nutshell, these specs are not so different from the laptops we’ve seen so far. The dual-core CPU offers solid performance and the fact that the GPU is not integrated means that you could always upgrade it at a later point. Furthermore, the RAM is already great as it is.

In terms of connectivity, HP 15,6 inch HD laptop is quite awesome, although certain features are completely useless for hacking. Such would be the headphone and microphone combo jack, for example. On a brighter note, you will be able to utilize two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and one HDMI port.

Sadly, this laptop comes with a pre-installed Windows 10 operating system. We recommend switching over to Linux or Mac OS as soon as possible. Overall, the benefits HP 15,6 inch HD laptop brings to the table are well worth the money. You’d have to look far and wide in this price range to find a similar laptop, let alone a better one.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: HP
  • Display:  15.6 inches
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1 TB HDD
  • CPU: Intel Dual Core AMD A6-9225
  • GPU: AMD Radeon R4
  • Battery: Up to 4 hours
Pros
  • High performance.
  • Superb connectivity complemented with Bluetooth.
  • Great dual core processor.
  • Decent GPU.
Cons
  • No SSD drive.
  • Low battery life.

What is OS Good for Hacking?

It goes without saying, you shouldn’t use Windows for hacking, be it professional or ethical. Windows won’t allow you to play around its own source code, whereas other systems do. That’s one of the main reasons why you should try Linux (Kali, specifically) or Mac OS. But if you are thinking about security for your laptop, we also have a guideline for you.

Linux

Generally speaking, the relatively new software called Kali operates on the Linux OS. Currently, it’s one of the most widely recognized and used hacking software, not to mention that it’s also the most easily accessible one.

Linux is basically an open-source replica of Unix OS, so naturally, it offers numerous downloadable software based on it. However, Linux has a relatively complex UI and inferior gesture support, which is the reason why more and more people turn over to Mac OS.

MacOS

The first good thing about Mac OS is the ‘amount’ of anonymity you will be able to benefit from it. By using this operating system, you will be substantially harder to track down in comparison to using Linux, let alone Windows operating systems.

Additionally, the Mac OS allows you to work in terminal environments. You will be able to access things that are generally inaccessible with any other system. Further on that point, that also means that Mac OS is a bit harder to use by beginners.

Laptop Hardware Requirements for Hacking

Obviously, you can’t use just about any PC or laptop to learn to hack, let alone perform the plethora of complex operations regarding it. You will need a strong processor unit, a solid graphics card, and plenty of RAM because most hacking tools will eat it in the blink of an eye.

In this section, we’re going to talk about minimal and recommended requirements in terms of the components your laptop needs for pentesting and hacking.

CPU

Generally speaking, you need at least a gigabyte of CPU to run the most basic hacking and pen-testing tools. However, the bare minimum will only get you so far. Most people who actually know a thing or two about hacking would recommend at least a dual-core 1GB (each) processor unit.

As you get better with hacking, you will start using more advanced hacking tools and emulators. Eventually, you will start using them simultaneously. That’s the reason why you should stock up on quantity and cores if you want to ensure your laptop’s smooth performance.

GPU

It seems a bit paradoxical that a graphics card is needed for hacking. Visually, most of the hacking tools are not ‘heavy’, so some people even ask ‘is GPU even needed?’

Simply put, not only is it needed, but it can make your hacking life a lot easier. Namely, CPUs have several cores at best, whereas GPUs have hundreds, sometimes even thousands. These tiny cores are, of course, in many ways different when compared to CPU cores.

You need a decent GPU because this particular component does the instantaneous calculations across thousands of threads. In plain words, CPU does the ‘heavy lifting’ while the GPU performs many smaller operations.

RAM

The Random Access Memory is perhaps the most important element of your hacking laptop. It ‘fuels’ the tools you use, as well as the operating system you are on. It’s pretty safe to say that you won’t be even able to run most hacking tools without at least a gigabyte of RAM.

In this case, ‘the bigger, the better’ is best applicable. The more RAM you have, the more complex operations you can perform. Needless to say, most hacking tools devour up a substantial amount of RAM initially. The further you progress, the more threads you employ, the more RAM you will need. For Ethical hacking and pen-testing, a gigabyte of RAM would suffice.

Network Adapter

You shouldn’t use your ‘regular’ internet connection if you want to hack for obvious reasons. First, you will leave plenty of traces online, and secondly, you will need a stable connection, or all of your efforts might go to waste at any given point.

Knowing this, there are a couple of vital elements a Network adapter needs to give you if we want to call it a ‘good one’. First and foremost, a reliable adapter has a good antenna (or two in some cases, such as for example Panda’s PAU09).

Secondly, you’ll want an adapter that has a sufficient operating range. The bigger the range is, the more stable the connection will be as you reach its limit. Lastly, your adapter needs to be compatible with your laptop (the best connectivity is ensured with USB connection).

Final Words

Many laptops are labeled as ‘good’ or ‘best for hacking’. The truth is, most of them were ‘gaming laptops’ last year or the year before. If you’re looking for the real deal, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve handpicked five models from five of the biggest names in the industry, knowing that they possess the leading technologies. HP offers an inexpensive option; Dell’s Inspiron is actually suitable for casual use; the VivoBook shouldn’t be taken lightly. And then, of course, we have the infamous Apple MacBook Pro and Acer’s Aspire 5. Now, kick back, and take your pick, these are among the best laptops for hacking.

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