So you’ve finally developed a mobile app or a website of your own—well done! However, one thing to know is that work doesn’t end with coding. After games or web creation, you have to perform testing to identify any loopholes.
During this process, you have to ensure that whatever you’ve created doesn’t have vulnerable aspects that can make it easy for hackers.
Technically, we refer to this process as penetration testing or pentesting. And more like coding, a few things are of absolute necessity to do pentesting more effectively. For instance, you have to have the right skill and the ideal laptop for the job.
With the know-how and the ideal laptop, you will find pentesting easy, smooth, and more fun. In this article, we are going to look at the most reliable computers for the job. Find your favorite laptop from our list of the top 11 best laptops for pentesting.
- 11 Best Laptops for Pentesting
- #1 ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop
- #2 Dell XPS 15 7590
- #3 HP Envy 17.3-Inch Full HD Touch
- #4 Apple MacBook Pro
- #5 Apple MacBook Air
- #6 LG Gram 14Z90P Ultra-Lightweight Laptop
- #7 Newest Flagship HP 17 Computer
- #8 Newest Dell Inspiron 3000
- #9 Lenovo ThinkPad E15
- #10 Lenovo ThinkPad E580
- #11 Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Verdict
11 Best Laptops for Pentesting
#1 ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop
- 13.3 Inch wide-view Full HD NanoEdge bezel display with a 95% screen-to-body ratio; Sleek and lightweight at 2.8 lbs for comfortable portability
- Intel Core i7-10510U Quad Core Processor (up to 4.9GHz)
The laptop you are going to get for penetration testing will dictate your user experience. If you want the most fantastic user experience, you have no option but to go for the top-rated model. Remember that the best calls for the best. And yes, the Asus Zenbook kicks off our list as the best overall for pentesting.
Sure, we have a few reasons why we rank it above every other model out there. For instance, it has an intel core i7 processor that delivers a top speed of up to 4.9 GHz. With this blazing speed, expect pentesting to take less time and effort.
About the size, you aren’t getting one of the bulky models. The 13.3-inch unit is ultra-slim and weighs as low as 2.8 lbs. Therefore, it’s a unit with a convenient size, not just for working with but also for bringing along with you anywhere you go.
The screen-to-body ratio of this top-notch machine stands at 95%. That’s so far the best we have in the market. What that means, this unit is as professional in the look as it is when it comes to performance.
About the RAM, you are getting 16 GBs here. With this much, the machine won’t freeze even when testing the most CPU-intensive games. Also, with this amount of memory, you should notice things running smoothly.
- Incredibly sturdy for the weight.
- Facial recognition.
- Very sleek.
- More USB ports would be good.
#2 Dell XPS 15 7590
- 15.6 inch Fhd (1920 x 1080) Infinity Edge anti glare Non Touch IPS 100 percentage RGB 500 nits Display
- 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750h (12MB Cache, up to 4.5 Gigahertz, 6 Cores)
Dell has already established herself as one of the most reliable names in the computer industry. For the mobile apps and web developers looking for the ideal laptop for pentesting, the Dell XPS 15 7590 does well in that area. It comes as a runner-up, the best for pentesting.
The device has a 15.6 inches display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Together, these specs should give you the ultimate user experience you need in pentesting. Plus, the screen here is anti-glare, a feature you have to look out for if you spend a lot of time in front of the screen.
When buying a computer for pentesting, processor speed is one aspect you have to consider. This model has the latest Intel Core i7-9750H processor. The maximum CPU speed here is 4.5 GHz. That should power you through your project in less time.
Memory-wise, it has 8-GB RAM with a bandwidth of 2666MHz. What that means is, with this super-slim machine, your work should run smoothly without any freezing issues. That’s what every creator needs!
The keyboard here is comfortable to use. Also, it is backlit, a feature you will find to be helpful if you prefer working late in the night. What’s more, the keyboard has an integrated fingerprint sensor to prevent unauthorized access.
- Beautiful borderless screen.
- GPU is good.
- The screen is vibrant.
- The fan may get quite loud at times, but no problems with overheating.
#3 HP Envy 17.3-Inch Full HD Touch
- PACKED WITH POWER: 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10510U (1.8 GHz, up to 4.9 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores)+NVIDIA GeForce MX250 (4 GB GDDR5). 1 x headphone/microphone combo; 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (HP Sleep and Charge); 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Data transfer only). No DVD Drive
- MULTI-TASK WITH EASE, BETTER THAN THE REST: The New 2019 Envy 17T is one of the Best 17" Laptops on the Market with its Features, 16GB DDR4 MEMORY, powered by WINDOWS 10 PRO(Pre-Installed by HP), Enjoy even faster performance with the 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD that comes on board. 16GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM(2x8GB) makes this Intel i7 HP Envy 17t laptop perfect for multitasking and running multiple programs seamlessly.
Most computer geeks will tell you that a bigger screen is almost always better. Now, if you are looking for the best pentesting laptop with a large display, this model from HP meets your needs. It is a 17.3-inch unit, so far the largest we have on the list.
When it comes to performance, it’s one of the most powerful out there. The device features a 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10510U processor. The CPU delivers a fantastic speed of up to 4.9 GHz., one of the best you will find in the market.
The 16GB DDR4 memory means that this device will handle the most demanding pentesting applications smoothly. And with the 1TB SSD-based storage, you now have plenty of space for your pentesting files and others.
Additionally, we like that this unit has touchscreen functionality. We all know that tapping the screen on the exact area you want will go a long way to save time. You will also find the sensitive display to make the work easier.
The full-size keyboard is backlit for user convenience when working at night. Also, it comes with a dedicated numeric keypad, something you aren’t likely to find in smaller models. And if you do a lot of typing, you will appreciate that the keyboard will tilt to make the process more comfortable.
- The Windows Pro works great right out of the box.
- Numeric keypad.
- Not the most lightweight.
#4 Apple MacBook Pro
- Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
- Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology
If you are a web or mobile app developer who’s obsessed with Apple products, here comes the computer that will meet your pentesting needs. After our in-depth evaluation, we singled it out as the best Macbook for pentesting.
It’s a 16-inch model, and that means it can also fit the bill if you want a reliable option with a large display. The ninth-generation processor has eight cores. Hence, about speed, it isn’t likely to disappoint.
The 16 GB memory keeps everything running as smoothly as you would like. Also, this machine comes with 512 GBs of storage. The best part is that the storage here is SSD-based for better speed compared to HDD.
You can upgrade the RAM to 64 GB if you are running CPU-intensive software or maybe want to improve on speed. Also, it will support up to 8 TB of SSD storage, which is the most any notebook will support.
About security, this Macbook still offers the best protection for your files. The Apple T2 Security Chip keeps all intruders at bay. That’s a helpful feature, especially when you are working around people.
- The quality of sound is superb.
- It has three mics.
- The size is nice.
- The large size isn’t the most portable.
#5 Apple MacBook Air
- All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
- Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed gaming with ease. The Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance than the previous generation while using way less power.
At times a bigger screen doesn’t guarantee the best image quality. For the app and web developers who want the best display, the 2020 Apple MacBook Air is the model that works ideally for them.
Apple’s exclusive retina display ensures that you get mind-blowing image vibrancy when using this computer. With that said, for creators who prioritize working with microcomputers that have high resolution, it’s worth trying out this model.
The eight-core CPU gives you the speed you need when pentesting or performing other operations. Actually, with this processor, you will enjoy speeds up to 3.5x faster than what you get from the majority of standard models.
RAM defines the capacity to multi-task or run intensive programs smoothly. Now, this option has 8 GB of unified memory for fast and fluid performance. Also, it has 256 GB SSD storage, a feature that allows you to open files instantly.
The battery will keep you going for up to 18 hours, more than what other models can offer. Hence, if you want a Macbook for pentesting that will support the most number of hours unplugged, you can try it out.
- Exclusive retina display.
- Smart fanless design.
- Excellent battery life.
- The camera quality isn’t the best.
#6 LG Gram 14Z90P Ultra-Lightweight Laptop
- 14" WUXGA (1920 x 1200) IPS LCD, with DCI-P3 99% color expression
- Intel Evo Platform Powered by 11th generation Intel core i5-1135G7 Processor with Intel Xe Graphics delivers performance for high-resolution content creation and editing
Portability is always a key aspect to consider for those who spend most of their time on the go. Now, if you are hunting up the best ultra-portable pentesting laptop, we find the number six product on our list to be the most appropriate for your needs.
When we term it as the most ultra-portable model, it really is. The pentesting laptop only weighs 2.2 lbs., less compared to the weight of any other model on our top-notch review. Hence, for the pentesting experts who want a model that they can carry almost anywhere, this option should do.
The 8GB RAM ensures smooth performance even when running intensive penetration testing software. Also, it’s worth acknowledging that this unit comes with a Core i7 CPU that delivers an excellent processor speed of up to 4.7 GHz.
Of course, because of portability, powerful performance, and convenient size, this machine does well in a wide array of applications. However, of the many areas, pentesting is one field where it shines the most.
Now, if you are looking for a portable model, there’s a high probability that you will also need a unit that has extended battery life. This high-quality device will serve for up to 25.5 hours with a single charge. You can now do more when on the go!
- Long-lasting battery.
- Built-in HD Webcam
#7 Newest Flagship HP 17 Computer
- 【HP i5 10th generation】: The Strong and Fast 10th Generation Intel Core i5 Processors, Intel Quad-Core i5-10210U(Beats i7-8650U) 1.60 GHz, up to 4.2 GHz, 6 MB cache, 8 Threads
- 【17.3 inch 1080P FHD IPS Display】 : 17.3 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti-glare 300 nits 72% NTSC Display, Integrated Intel UHD Graphics for 10th Gen Intel Processors
There’s a high probability that you will be using your pentesting laptop for other purposes. Hence, when shopping for one, it’s always wise to get one that will give you enough storage space for your storage needs. And yes, the lucky number seven product brings you the best SSD-based storage.
This option brings you 2 TB of storage space, enough for your pentesting files, documents, videos, and any other thing you may need to keep safe. The unit also has 32 GB of RAM. Hence, it’s a type of device that handles deep penetration testing well.
The 17-inch high-quality display boasts a resolution of 1920 x 1080. While that’s not the best you will find in a device of its kind, it still translates to high pixel density, so expect high-quality graphics when using this option.
About connectivity, this model leaves you spoilt of choice. It has an HDMI port, USB ports, LAN, DVD slot, and an SD card slot. Actually, no matter where you want to fetch or transfer your files, you should have a port that works ideally for that need.
The 720p HD webcam means you won’t face any problems the next time you attend a virtual brainstorming session with fellow web and mobile app developers. And with an integrated microphone, every word you utter will be heard crystal clear.
- Massive storage space.
- The price is reasonable.
- Flexible connectivity.
- The resolution could be better, considering the screen size and that it has other high-end features.
#8 Newest Dell Inspiron 3000
- 【Dell Inspiron Laptop】16GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once; 1TB PCIe NVME M.2 Solid State Drive for ample storage space.
- 【Processor】Intel Celeron Processor N4020 (2 cores, 2 Threads, 4MB Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)
Get the best in exchange for your money by buying the Dell Inspiron 3000. While it doesn’t cost much, it’s one of the models that will give you the most out of your money. Hence, if you are looking for the best value for money, here comes where you should invest your money.
The piece has a memory of 16 GBs. You will appreciate the fluidity this memory offers, especially when running multiple applications at the same time. Also, the unit comes with a powerful processor that will power you through deep pentesting with ultimate ease.
About storage, you are getting a TB of space here. That’s more than what you get in other models. What’s more interesting, it’s SSD storage, so you will find it fast and smooth to open and close applications.
The powerful processor has a base clock speed of 2.3 GHz. With that said, this unit will deliver speedy performance, especially for the price. And unlike some models, you will notice that this machine doesn’t overheat even when running multiple pentesting software for extended periods.
In terms of size, the unit offers 15.6 inches HD display. Therefore, it isn’t too large nor small, but just the size that works best for most pentesting professionals. However, the resolution isn’t that impressive as it’s only 1366 x 768.
- Decent value for money.
- Plenty of storage.
- Easy to set up.
- The resolution isn’t the best.
#9 Lenovo ThinkPad E15
- Processor: Intel Quad Core i7-1165G7 (2.8GHz - 4.7GHz, 12MB Cache)
- Features: 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe; Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
As said earlier, pentesting involves strengthening all the weak aspects of your website or mobile app. However, we should keep in mind that threats don’t always come from online attackers but people around your physical setting. That’s why you need to invest in a microcomputer with the best security mechanisms like the Lenovo ThinkPad E15.
This screen has a built-in fingerprint reader, a reliable feature when it comes to limiting access. With this sensor, you will also find it quicker to log in to your device compared to using passwords. What that means, this unit is engineered to make things extremely difficult for unallowed users but a cinch to the owner.
Also, we appreciate that Lenovo Thinkpad E15 has a decent processor for pentesting. I mean, the machine has an Intel Quad-Core i7-1165G7 CPU boasting a maximum speed of 4.7 GHz. Hence, in terms of performance, it’s as impressive as it is in keeping intruders out.
The 32 GB RAM, 1 TB solid state drive, webcam, multiple ports, Bluetooth, and other features mean that the applicability of this machine is beyond pentesting. Hence, if you want a unit that you can use for penetration testing and other tasks, try out this model.
The ergonomic keyboard is comfortable to use. However, if you are among the people who love to spend the best part of the night with their eyes on the screen, you may not like the idea that the backlight keyboard feature is missing in this model.
- High level of security.
- The keyboard isn’t backlit.
#10 Lenovo ThinkPad E580
- Intel 7th gen Core i5-7200U 2.5 GHz processor, Turbo up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD
- 15.6" HD 1366 x 768 Energy-efficient LED backlight Display, Intel HD Graphics 620
Windows installation may not be a big issue for most web and app developers. However, it’s wise to avoid the hassle if possible. Few things to work on the machine after arriving allows you to get into work faster. And yes, this model is the best pentesting laptop with a pre-installed OS. It comes with Windows 10 Pro, so it’s ready for use almost instantly once you get it out of the box.
The powerful machine is from Lenovo. Of course, we all know what this manufacturer can do when it comes to quality. With that said, expect user experience you will hardly find from most of the competitors out there.
The model comes with a 15.6-inch wide display. Therefore, it’s more suited for users who want a larger display than portability. However, it’s still easy to move since it’s slim at 0.78 inches. On weight, it weighs 4.7 lbs., so it isn’t one of the heaviest laptops.
The Core i5 processor holds the promise of excellent performance. The maximum CPU rating of 3.1 GHz means that it’s a laptop ideal for pentesting and other applications that require a high speed processor.
On the drawbacks, the main weakness of this model is the LED display. It has 1366 x 768 when it comes to resolution. Well, that’s less future-proof and doesn’t provide the best pixel density relative to the size of the screen.
- It turns on super-fast.
- Large screen.
- It has pre-installed Windows Pro OS.
- Low pixel density.
#11 Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
- Sleek design and standout value. At just 2.44 pounds, it’s light, portable, and easy to keep by your side throughout the day.
- Be productive, browse, and binge watch on the 12.4” PixelSense touchscreen display.
Taking the final place on the list is also one of the high-quality laptops we have out there. It packs lots of fantastic features, so it won’t cost you a fortune when it comes to performance. Surprisingly, the unit doesn’t cost much, and that’s why we see it as the best under budget penetration testing laptop.
The first area where you get more than what you pay for is the design. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go comes with a sleek design. Also, weighs 2.44 lbs., qualifying it as one of the most portable options for pentesting.
About the size, it has a 12.4-inch screen. Of course, that’s not the best size for those who want a large display. However, if the size isn’t a big deal to you, it should serve you well. What’s more, it’s a touchscreen display for the best convenience.
The screen resolution of this model is 1536 x 1024. Well, that’s not the highest rating on our top-notch list. However, since the screen is only 12 inches, the pixel density here is high. As a result, the graphics quality here is impressive.
The Core i5 processor will hit a maximum speed of 3.6 GHz. That means it has a compatible processor for pentesting and other jobs where a powerful CPU is a prerequisite. About security, the unit has biometric authentication for the best protection.
- Small but powerful.
- Quality graphics.
- Biometric authentication.
- Not the ideal option if you need a wide display.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is MacBook good for Pentesting?
We’ve all known Macs to be top-notch models for a host of applications. But are they good for pentesting? Definitely! These devices have everything that a pentesting laptop needs for it to perform effectively in the area.
Why is pentesting called ethical hacking?
Pentesting is an authorized attempt to gain unauthorized access to the created web and mobile app with the original intention of identifying the areas of weakness in their security systems. The original intent is to come up with a stronger security mechanism and not to cause any harm. That’s why we see it as ethical hacking.
What’s the best budget laptop for pentesting?
Well, it depends on the size of your pocket. However, we’ve suggested products that cut across all budget sizes. Hence, you should find it easy to identify the ideal one for you.
What are the best laptops for pentesters?
Not all computers out there work well for penetration testing. However, we have several amazing laptops that serve ideally in the area. A pentester needs a unit with a high-quality processor, high-quality display, good memory, massive storage, and others.
Is 8GB RAM enough for pentesting?
Yes. 8GB memory will support just about any pentesting software. Actually, a microcomputer with this RAM should run smoothly even when using multiple CPU-intensive applications at the same time.
If you want the best user experience when pentesting, a laptop ideal for the job is a must-have. However, it’s puzzling to sift out the computer that will work well from the many options that won’t. But after reading our review, I believe making your buying decision is now less of a hassle.