Best Laptops

The Best Laptops for Kali Linux and Pentesting In 2019

Best laptops for Kali Linux

Before we get to the point of declaring the best laptops for Kali Linux and Pentesting in 2019, we can safely assume that you’re all too familiar with the fact that this software is among the best systems when it comes to Penetration testing.

Though it is true that this operating system is incredibly powerful and versatile in its own right, you do need a powerful machine to ensure its smooth operation. Regardless of your actual skill as an ethical hacker (pro or a newbie), a good laptop can change the way you do your job. Without any further ado, let’s get straight to the reviews.

Model RAM Storage GPU
1. Acer Aspire E 15 (Editor's Choice) 8GB DDR4 256GB SSD GeForce MX150
2. ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 16GB DDR4 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD GeForce GTX 1050
3. Apple MacBook Pro 15 16GB LPDDR3 512GB SSD Radeon Pro 560 4GB
4. Alienware AW17R4-7006SLV-PUS 17 16GB DDR4 256GB SSD GeForce GTX 1070
5. Acer Predator Helios 300 8GB DDR4 256GB SSD GeForce GTX 1050
6. Dell G5587-7866BLK-PUS G5 15 16GB DDR4 128GB SSD +1TB HDD GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB
7. MSI GV62 8RD-034 8GB DDR4 128GB SSD +1TB HDD GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB

Top 7 Best Laptops for Kali Linux 2019

Our review is specially made by our professional experts’ team under very strict observation. So, we hope you will like the described laptops and able to choose one for you.

#1 Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop (Best Value)

Best laptops for Pentesting

Acer’s laptops hold great renown among gamers and hackers alike, and the Aspire series is probably one of the most popular ones from this brand. What can be said for this entire generation of laptops is the fact that they perform well above their price range, and then some. In a nutshell, the Aspire E 15 boasts a sharp, big display, excellent performance, a huge variety of different ports, and above all else, its keyboard is absolutely fantastic.

In terms of design, there are a couple of things that could’ve been done differently. Namely, the E 15 isn’t exactly light, and its screen in most cases feels a bit hard to watch for prolonged periods of time. However, it also packs a smooth deck that’s made of decently durable plastic. Aesthetic wise, the brushed metal looks phenomenal, although its looks aren’t what you’re going to love it for.

Now, since we’re mainly talking about the best laptops for Pentesting, let’s see what this remarkable machine can offer you in that respect. Performance wise, Acer’s Aspire E 15 packs 8 gigabytes of RAM, a 256 GB of hard drive space (SSD), and Intel’s i7-8550U. That means that it’s beyond formidable for the price range it belongs to.

Its hard drive, sadly, isn’t as reliable as it sometimes makes the lap lag a bit, especially if the bulk of your files are stored on the same location. E 15’s battery is formidable, especially if we take into account that this is a budget laptop. On average, it will last for approximately 15 hours, which is way more than average for the budget price point range.

Now, about its pre-integrated software, Aspire E15 comes with Windows 10 operating system and with a special Acer folder packed with the corresponding programs. Acer also comes with its dedicated ‘Care Center’ – it allows you to easily update the drivers and backup your files (which is what makes it decent for Pen Testing).

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: Acer Aspire
  • Display:  15.6 inches
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8550U (Up to 4.0GHz)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  • Weight: 5.27 lbs
  • Battery: Up to 15 hours
Pros
  • Very good performance.
  • Decent battery is  capable of lasting.
  • Formidable setup.
Cons
  • Big and it weights quite a lot.
  • ‘Glaring’ screen will experience eye fatigue.

#2 ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Thin and Portable Laptop

ASUS VivoBook Pro Laptop

Asus’s VivoBook is often compared to MacBook due to many reasons, one of them being that both are exceptional high-spec laptops. This particular model comes supplied with a plethora of high tear features, including one of the strongest Intel processors, a large full HD display, immersive graphics, decent RAM, and plenty of storage space. In short, this laptop is enormous when it comes to performance.

Firstly, it features a massive 8th gen Intel’s i7-8565 4.6 GHz processor. That’s pretty neat, although single cores are fairly outdated. The Random access memory packs 16 GB of DDR4, which is pretty neat. Even though you might not be able to play the latest games on it, this spec configuration is pretty solid for the price.

The display f VivoBook pro is great – it packs a 17,3-inch full HD display with 72% gamut, all powered by Nvidia’s GeForce GTX graphics. The visuals are staggeringly beautiful and provide a convenient overview of your files and folders.

Connectivity of this laptop is one of its key points – it features numerous USB, HDMI, and headphone ports, as well as a fingerprint scanner for additional security. The battery is long lasting and packs a fast charging feature which allows you to bring it back up to more than 60% for just 49 minutes of charging.

Storage wise, there are two separate compartments. The 256 gigabytes of solid state drive and a full terabyte of hard disk drive yield quite a combination. VivoBook comes with a pre-installed Windows 10 Home software.

Though it does not particularly correlate to Pen Testing, the keyboard of Vivo Book Pro is actually quite impressive. In comparison to earlier Vivo Book models, the one that comes with the ‘Pro’ is quieter, more convenient, and feels just a bit more natural to use.

Just like with any ‘Pro’ laptop, VivoBook is decently expensive, which is luckily its only drawback. It packs a massive punch for the money, and it’s undoubtedly worth the buck due to premium performance and versatility.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: ASUS VivoBook
  • Display:  17.3 inches
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD combo
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8565u (Up to 4.0GHz)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours
Pros
  • A decently strong machine.
  • Used high power graphics card.
  • Fast charging battery.
Cons
  • Very Expensive.

#3 Apple MacBook Pro 15″ (Latest Model)

Apple MacBook Pro

When it comes to Apple products, you either love them or hate them, but one thing is absolutely undisputable – they’re great for all sorts of purposes. If there’s one thing people flame MacBooks about, it’s their price, and even in this case, that’s true. The Apple MacBook Pro 15 is decently expensive, but is it actually worth the money if you’re on the market for the best laptops for Kali Linux? We daresay it is.

People go as far as to say that this particular model is one of the most powerful MacBook up to date. It packs 16 gigabytes of RAM, 4 Gigabytes of GDDR5 Radeon Pro 560x GPU, 512 gigabytes of hard disk storage space (SSD), four Thunderbolt ports, and a single 3,5 mm headphone port.

All MacBook models were specifically designed for convenience, and MacBook Pro 15-inch is not an exception. When closed, it’s 0,60 inches in height, and it weighs only 4 pounds, which only means that it’s significantly more compact than Acer’s Aspire E15.

With 512 GB of storage space, you can rest assured that you can download and install pretty much whatever comes to mind. Though gamers often go with PC variants, MacBook Pro 15 can easily satisfy the needs of even the most demanding nerds with ease.

If you’re more into programming, hacking, or even if you’re a music producer who needs a powerhouse day in day out, this laptop will deliver. The CPU packs four cores of Intel’s i7 2.6Hz processor, meaning that you can run every possible game, program, or a plugin without ever fearing of lags or spikes. Apple 15″ MacBook Pro also has similar configurations, but the processor is Intel core i7 2.9Hz power.

On top of that, MacBook Pro 15-inch offers quite a few other perks. It comes supplied with an HD 720p Face Time camera, a set of stereo speakers, and three onboard microphones. In terms of design, it has sleek, thin construction and the infamous Touch Bar feature, which significantly improves the overall usability of every Apple related app you might want to use.

Just like every other Apple product, the MacBook Pro 15-inch comes with an exquisite safety feature – the fingerprint scanner. It does require setup, but it’s accurate and reliable and keeps your lap safe from everyone but you.

The only downside of this amazing laptop is that it costs a fortune. Namely, it’s several times more expensive than an average Pen Testing laptop, and suffice to say, not everyone can afford such a huge investment, regardless of the necessity. If you demand high specs, reliability, and data protection, though, we advise that you start saving up.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: Apple
  • Display:  15 inches
  • RAM: 16 GB LPDDR3
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 Quad Core (Up to 2.6GHz)
  • Graphics Card: Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB
  • Weight: 5.27 lbs
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
Pros
  • Ultimate performance.
  • Thin, compact, and reliable design.
  • Touch bar features.
Cons
  • Costs a fortune.

#4 Alienware AW17R4-7006SLV-PUS 17″ Gaming Laptop

Alienware AW17R4 Laptop

If there are one thing gamers, programmers, and hackers have in common, it’s that they all demand strength and endurance when they choose their machines. Alienware’s AW17R4 (Alienware 17 further in the text) is an excellent example of a laptop that could serve each of those as mentioned above equally well.

The first thing you’ll notice about it is that it belongs to a similar price range in comparison to our previous pick – Apple’s MacBook Pro 15. However, there are worlds of differences between the two. Alienware 17 is huge. It’s possibly one of the largest laptops built in the last couple of years, of course, as per high-spec laptop standards (it’s still fairly smaller than an average desktop PC).

Despite its crude appearance, there are actually quite a few benefits that this lap offers. Most notably, it has a 17-inch screen meaning that you’ll have a better overview of your work, although it does weigh some 9,5 pounds.

Now, let’s get to the reason why this lap is as gigantic as it is. Figuratively speaking, it’s so big because it packs an exceptional outfit of hardware pieces. With 7th gen Intel’s quad-core i7-7820HK CPU and 16 gigabytes of RAM, you won’t be lacking anything performance wise.

The storage is pretty formidable too, being comprised of two separate compartments, including 256 gigabytes of solid state drive and a terabyte of HDD. So far, these specs overshadow the ones our previous picks come supplied with.

The display of this laptop is phenomenal. It features a great 1080p resolution and IPS Anti Glare display feature, meaning that it’s substantially ‘easier’ on the eyes than most similarly priced laptops.

There is, however, one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked – the heating. Namely, the vans vent through a single section at the very rear, so this particular section gets rather warm fast. Then again, a machine this powerful was only to be expected to put up a lot of it.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: Alienware
  • Display:  17.3 inches
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 Memory
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-7820HK (up to 4.4GHz )
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • Weight: 9.7 lbs
  • Battery: No Info
Pros
  • Great display..
  • Huge dual storage compartments.
  • Powerhouse CPU.
Cons
  • Heats up quick.

#5 Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC

Acer Predator Helios 300

After ‘Aspire’ now it’s time to check out the Predator. Acer’s Helios 300 is, much like the majority of their laptops, a gaming lap. That means two things – first, certain features are completely gamer oriented, and secondly, it’s a powerhouse.

We’ve noticed that quite a few of lap models for Kali Linux come outfitted with Intel’s i7-8750H CPU, such is the case with Helios 300. However, this one packs six cores, each sporting a power of 4.1 GHz. The RAM is not exemplary, but not bad as well given that there are only 16 gigabytes of it. Note that this is a gaming laptop, in which case 16 gigabytes aren’t that much.

Most people love the Predator Helios 300 for its screen. Though it’s a bit smaller than our previous pick, 15,6 inches with a full HD wide screen resolution is formidable, to say the very least. Furthermore, the display is LED backlit and packs a refresh rate of 144 Hertz.

As for the storage, you’re going to need to consider an upgrade, since there are only 256 gigabytes of SSD. On a brighter side, it’s not 256 gigabytes of hard drive storage space, although there are slots for both additional SSD and HDD units. Overall, you can easily say that this laptop is a gaming one. There are several red highlights, as well as the ominous-looking Predator logo. It has a decently big footprint, although it’s very light in general.

The battery of Acer Helios 300 is pretty average in all respects. It can last for some 7 hours which is neither too good or too bad, but in comparison to our earlier picks, it’s undoubtedly inferior. Pen Testing wise, you could benefit from as much ‘sustain’ as possible, so this is a relatively major downfall. Speaking of sustain, the cooling is fantastic, provided by AeroBlade fans which operate smoothly and reliably.

In short, what does this laptop has to offer? Superb performance with a six-core CPU, overclockable graphics, LED-backlit display, and superb Aero blades. The obvious downsides are inferior battery life and storage. So, is it suitable for Kali Linux and Pen testing? With small investments in terms of another SSD and RAM, it most certainly is.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: Acer Predator
  • Display:  15.6″ inches
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H (Up to 4.0GHz)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Weight: 5.51 lbs
  • Battery: Up to 7 hours
Pros
  • Robust CPU and decent RAM.
  • Reliable cooling system.
  • Vivid graphics card.
Cons
  • Low storages (256 SSD only).
  • Inferior battery lifespan.

#6 Dell G5587-7866BLK-PUS G5 15 5587 Gaming Laptop

Dell G5587-7866BLK-PUS

Dell’s G5587 15 is similar to many high tier laptops for pen testing we’ve reviewed so far. It sports a massive CPU, reliable RAM performance, superb graphics, and then some.  You can say it’s a gaming laptop, you could say it’s good for Kali Linux, but the truth is – it’s great for both.

First and foremost, let’s start with the CPU. Dell’s G5587 15 packs an 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H six core 3,9 GHz processor which is just massive. It can run the latest games or dozens of programs simultaneously without a hint of lags or spikes.

Secondly, there’s a very good reason why we said that it has a solid RAM performance. Namely, there are 16 gigabytes of DDR4, though there’s an open slot for upgrades up to 32 gigabytes (sadly, the upgrades are sold separately). Overall, that’s pretty great considering the price.

In terms of storage, the main compartment packs a terabyte of SATA HDD and some 128 gigabytes of SSD. The addition of SSD storage makes Dell’s G5587 15 work a bit faster, although it’s far from being ‘enough’ for more than a couple of programs at a time.

The graphics are neat and vivid – it comes supplied with Nvidia’s GTX 1050 4GB card, which is pretty much a standard for top shelf laptops nowadays.

There are, sadly, a couple of drawbacks that should not be neglected. Most notably, you won’t be able to benefit from faster tracking SSD storage offers in most cases since there’s only 128 gigabytes. If you put your operating system (Kali) there, it will eat up the bulk of it. If not, it would be the same as if it had only HDD to offer.

Now, as for the reason why Dell’s G5587 15 might be the best laptop for Kali Linux, it’s because it offers uncompromising performance while being available at a rather approachable price.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: Dell
  • Display:  15.6 inches
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD +1 TB HDD
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H (Up to 3.6 GHz)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti
  • Weight: 6.28 lbs
  • Battery: Up to 4 hours
Pros
  • Used great  graphics card.
  • Cutting edge processor.
  • High value of the money.
Cons
  • Low SSD storage.

#7 MSI GV62 8RD-034 15.6″ Thin and Light Gaming Laptop

best laptop for Kali Linux

We’re closing the curtain down with MSI GV62 gaming laptop. Frankly, even non-gamers could easily notice that this is a pure gaming laptop, so why are we recommending it for Kali Linux users? Well, it comes supplied with a hefty arsenal hardware wise and offers plenty of ‘sustain’ with a cooling system which is more than adequate.

First of all, you’re probably going to love the 15.6-inch display. The main benefit of such a display is the fact that you’ll get a big screen without cutting on portability. Just below it is a completely backlit keyboard which gives away the gaming laptop concept – some people might be a bit bothered by it, but most find it as appealing and in certain cases even convenient and particularly useful.

The processor unit might be the most significant advantage this laptop has to offer, as it’s outfitted with Intel’s i7-8750H six core 4,1GHz CPU. Saying that it’s strength would be a major understatement. Furthermore, the graphics are nice, but we’ve already mentioned the exact outfit this laptop comes supplied with – Nvidia’s GTX 1050 TI. It works equally great in this configuration as well.

The storage of this laptop is exactly the same as with our previous pick, and it brings the same benefits and drawbacks onboard – a terabyte of HDD and only 128 gigabytes of SSD. Now, what’s not so great about this lap is the fact that it only has 8 gigabytes of RAM. Upgrades up to 32 gigabytes are possible, and in all honesty, it wouldn’t take more than some $50 to get it boosted up to the maximum, but the factory settings provide only 8 GB.

All things considered, MSI’s GV62 is pretty affordable, which means that you’ll probably have some money to spare on some extra RAM. In such a case, this would be a perfect laptop for Kali Linux due to its robust overall performance.

Specs at Glance:

  • Brand: MSI
  • Display:  15.6 inches
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD + 1 TB
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H (Up to 4.1GHz)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050Ti
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs
  • Battery: Up to 4 hours
Pros
  • Strong CPU for good performance.
  • Superb cooling system.
  • Durable and reliable design.
Cons
  • Fully backlit keyboard.

Laptop buying guide for Kali Linux and Pentesting

Performance

The overall performance of a laptop encompasses the processor unit (CPU), random access memory (RAM), graphics card, design, storage, and battery life. All of these aspects are tightly correlated and provide actual benefits only when strung together in a compatible, well-thought setup.

Processor

The CPU is the core of your laptop’s performance. There are multi-core and single-core processors, and we highly recommend that you go with the former. ‘The more, the better’ applies all too accurately throughout all the aspects of the overall performance.

RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) is CPU’s counterpart. No matter how strong your processor is, without sufficient RAM you won’t be able to run your pen testing operations smoothly. The original installation instructions for Kali Linux state that a minimum of 1 GB RAM is needed to actually run it, although they also recommend having 2 GB and more if possible.

Graphics Card

You don’t need a monster graphics card to run Kali Linux and to perform pen testing operations but must be sure that it’s good graphics cards. Although there are certain models that are tailor-made for it. Nvidia’s graphics, for example, almost by default utilize open source drivers which are not only more efficient, but easier to work around with. Automatic updates are just some of the additional benefits Nvidia’s models provide.

Design

In all honesty, you don’t need to bash your head about your laptop’s design for as long as you intend to use it for pen testing. Convenience wise, you could opt between having a bigger screen at the expense of portability, or vice versa.

Storage

Kali Linux immediately eats away 20 gigabytes of storage space upon installation, meaning that this is not a demanding operating system. However, for pen testing you’re going to need a lot more than that. Luckily, all the models we’ve reviewed offer plenty of SSD and HDD.

Battery Life

The longer the battery of your laptop can hold, the better, although this is certainly not such a vital aspect of performance in this respect. You can easily simply keep it charged while pen testing processes are underway. The bottom line is that even a laptop with inferior battery lifespan can still be pretty solid for Kali Linux and Pen Testing.

Final Words

Kali Linux users know how to appreciate a good laptop setup, and if you count yourself among them, then we’re happy that you’ve stumbled across our review of the best laptops for Kali Linux. We hope that you’ve liked our selection of high tier laptop models and wish you good luck in finding the one that suits your needs.

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