Before going into the technicalities of buying the best laptops for Kali Linux, lets first understand what Kali Linux is? Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution intended at advanced Penetration Testing and Security Auditing, stated by Kali.org in one of its blogs. Kali consists of hundreds of tools that regulate various information security tasks, such as Penetration Testing, Computer Forensics, Security research, and Reverse Engineering.
You may be aware that to run Kali Linux; you need to employ a dual boot method or can do it by using virtualization software. But the installation method is the secondary thing; the prime focus is that you require a laptop that is capable of running Kali Linux and performing penetration testing.
Being occupied with what the ethical hacking work calls for, we understand a lot of people don’t find time to study about the specifications of the laptop. The process complicates even more as the market floods with so many brands, and each brand challenges its product to be the best.
But not to worry, to simplify your Kali Linux laptop buying journey, we have got you covered with the list of some expert picked laptops. The laptops on the list are shortlisted based on the system requirements for Kali Linux. Also, the laptops mentioned hold the specifications that can suffice you for the next four years to come without getting obsolete.
Note: If you’re in a hurry then take a look at the recommended laptop on your list that is the ASUS VivoBook Pro. With its robust hardware configuration, the laptop is the first choice of ethical hacking enthusiasts.
Let’s get started,
Top 6 Best Laptops for Kali Linux & Pentesting
|Model||Check Latest Price||Processor||RAM||Storage|
|ASUS TUF FX504GE-AH53||Intel Core i5-8300H||8GB||256GB M.2 SSD|
|ASUS VivoBook Pro||Intel Core i7-8565U||16GB||256GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Acer Predator Helios 300||Intel Core i7-8750H||16GB||256GB SSD|
|MSI GV62 8RD-276||Intel Core i7-8750H||16GB||128GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD|
|ASUS ROG Strix Scar II||Intel Core i7-8750H||16GB||512GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Acer Aspire 7||Intel Core i7-8750H||8GB||128GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
Note: At LaptopDiscovery, we intend to make the buying process of our visitors as simple as possible, and therefore we offer various awards to the laptop after researching and testing them. Below you’ll find a recommended laptop and a laptop that offers the best value for money. If you want to jump to our awarded laptop directly, then you can click the button below.
Review of Laptops for Kali Linux & Pentesting
1. ASUS TUF FX504GE-AH53 Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i5-8300H | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD | Display: 15.6” Full HD | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti | Weight: 5.1 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 7 hours
The first laptop on the list is from The Ultimate Force series of ASUS featuring 8th-Gen Intel Core processors and GTX 10-Series graphics. It is not only the top laptop under 800 dollars price range, but is also competent enough to run Kali Linux without any hiccups. It can handle almost any intensive tasks while providing stability and reliability. The 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8300H processor gets all your jobs done in seconds. Being the H series processor, it is designed for high-performance graphics, in short, the dedicated graphics.
The 8GB DDR4 RAM is blazing fast with a 2666Mhz speed, which means lower latency, thus faster data transfer to the processor. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI graphics are housed to the motherboard of FX504GE. The 256GB SSD grants accelerated data transfer speed and also a quicker system boot up time. To stand apart from the competition, the laptop comes with the anti-dust cooling technology and dual fan design, which significantly boosts its lifespan.
With the improved airflow and anti-dust tunnels, the fans are shielded from the dust and debris so that it can work well to keep the system at optimum temperature without generating any noise. The FX504GE has all the right boxes for you to run Kali Linux on it and carry out penetration testing.
The laptop comes with the 15.6 inches Full HD display that can afford to show content in 1080p resolution. But being the TN display, you get to experience poor color reproduction and viewing angles. Here you can find that the brand ASUS has cut corners to make the laptop available at an attractive price. But you are using this laptop solely for Kali Linux then the display should not bother you much.
The backlit keyboard is designed for accurate feedback and durability. With the lifespan of up to 20 million key presses and 0.8mm travel distance, you will get in love with it. To your surprise, all the fantastic specs come packed inside the body with 0.98-inch thin profile that weighs around 5.07lbs.
2. ASUS VivoBook Pro- Best Laptop for Kali Linux
Processor: Intel Core i7-8565U | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Display: 17.3” Full HD Wide view | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 | Weight: 4.85 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 7 hours
Here’s another laptop from the brand ASUS that features dual storage drives, high-end Intel Core processor, amazing 1080p display and powerful GTX graphics. At the core of this stylish laptop lies the 8th Generation, Intel Core i7-8565U processor with the clock, speed up to 3.4GHz. The U series processor is designed for ultra-low power consumption, which means that the laptop can save you with a decent amount of battery at the end of the day. Also, with the fast charging technology, you can power up the laptop to around 60 percent in just 49 minutes.
The 16GB memory and the NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics delivers all the necessary power for seamless multitasking. ASUS VivoBook Pro equips 256GB SSD that provides up to 10x times faster data read and write speeds. By installing Kali Linux on the SSD, you can achieve faster booting time and speedy performance.
Along with this it also outfits the 1TB HDD for ample storage space. The laptop brings you the goods of both types of storage drives, with SSD being more reliable, faster, and HDD is cheaper.
Coming on to the display, the Vivobook holds a big 17-inch screen with Full HD panel. With 72 percent NTSC and ASUS Splendid software enhancement, you can experience more vibrant and more accurate colors. As advertised by the brand, the laptop is the slimmer and lighter than ever in the 17inch category. With a 0.8 inch thin profile and weight of 4.6 lbs, the VivoBook is portable enough to be carried around to places.
An array of ports is available for extensive connectivity including USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI and an SD card slot. Also, with the dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, you can enjoy the internet with up to 6x times speed.
3. Acer Predator Helios 300- Kali Linux Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD | Display: 15.6″ Full HD | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 | Weight: 5.51 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 7 hours
Get ready to unleash the beast, the Acer Predator Helios 300, that combines the devastatingly powerful Intel Core i7 processor and the high-end NVIDIA Geforce GTX graphics. The 8th generation Intel processor comes with six cores that make the laptop capable of manipulating multiple tasks at the same time. While the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics with massive 6GB dedicated memory features the new NVIDIA Pascal architecture. It is the most potent computer architecture ever built inside a graphics processor unit.
The two all-metal AeroBlade 3D fans extend the lifespan of the Helios 300 by advancing the airflow. But to the downside, the laptop still feels warm, nearly to the point of discomfort near the keys, during the session of intensive gaming or work. Despite having the custom-engineered cooling system, the laptop is not able to overcome overheating issues at times.
The fast 256GB SSD and 16GB DDR4 memory boosts the loading speeds and accelerate the boot-up times. This laptop can run Kali Linux effortlessly, also performing pen tests is a cakewalk. Talking about the display, the Predator Helios 300 holds a beautiful 15.6 inches Full HD panel with IPS technology. With the in-plane switching technology featured on the laptop, you can experience consistent colors from any direction.
The eye-catchy feature of Helios 300 is that it comes with a 144Hz refresh rate. With such a high, refresh rate, you can experience a short time for frame rendering and enjoy ultra-smooth 2D motion scenes. The iron-red backlight illuminates the keyboard making sure that you always strike the right keys.
Another note-taking feature of the laptop is the PredatorSense gaming control panels that provide you the freedom to customize the control of gaming feature including the CPU fan speed, the system temperature, and the system fan speed.
4. MSI GV62 8RD-276 for Kali Linux
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 128GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD | Display: 15. 6″ Full HD eDP IPS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI | Weight: 9.05 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 5 hours
The next on the list is MSI GV62 8RD-276, with the latest generation Intel Core processor, dual-drive storage, massive memory, and the high-performance graphics. First, talking about the built of the laptop, it measures out to be 15.1 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches that don’t make it qualify for being called as an ultrabook. Also, it weighs way too much (around 9.05 lbs), making it difficult to carry around to workplaces.
But this information can be ignored by looking at the beautiful specifications the laptop incorporates. The Intel Core i7-8750H with six core technology provides you with excellent processing power, throw as many tasks as you want to the processor and it will take care of it exceptionally well. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI graphics takes care of all the graphics intensive work.
The 128GB SSD with NVMe (non-volatile memory express) technology is created to accelerate the data transfer speed. It offers around 5x times more bandwidth and transfer rate up to 3 GBPS compared to the traditional SATA drives. There is another 1TB HDD drive installed to the system that provides excellent storage capabilities.
For keeping the laptop at a comfortable temperature during the hours of intense work, two fans, two exhausts, and six copper heat pipes are fused to the system. No heating issues are encountered in the laptop, but specific objections of bloatware are there. One thing that we didn’t like about the laptop is that the brand advertises it to have 16GB (16G*1) DDR4 memory whereas that is not the case, it comes with 16GB (8GB*2) memory.
The keyboard is candy to the eyes, as every detail of this beautiful crimson red backlit keyboard is calculated and designed for gamers needs. The tactile feedback and WASD zone along with the support of multi-key inputs, gives you a competitive edge.
5. ASUS ROG Strix Scar II Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Display: 17.3” FHD | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 | Weight: 6.5 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 4 hours
The next on the list is ASUS ROG Strix Scar II, which is originally a gaming laptop but can be used to perform any tasks be it pen testing or ethical hacking. The lid of the laptop features two contrasting brushed finishes that create a diagonal slash across the lid. The anodized Gunmetal Gray finish and deep black heatsink give ASUS ROG Strix appearance of military hardware.
The Intel Core i7-8750H processor with six cores handles medium to high-intensity tasks like a breeze. With six cores, you can perform multiple things at the same time on the laptop. Paired with the GeForce RTX 20 series graphic, the laptop provides you with never seen gaming performance and power efficiency. The RTX graphics card draws together artificial intelligence, ray tracing, and programmable shading.
The blazing-fast 16GB DDR4 memory help laptop avoids the bottlenecking effect when trying to run a lot of high memory programs. The booting up of the system and faster loading of applications are taken care of by 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD. Whereas the 1TB FireCuda HDD can be utilized to store files and data.
Strix Scar features 17.3 inches 144Hz narrow-bezel display with a 3ms GTG response time. With such a brilliant refresh rate, the content on the screen updates quicker, providing sharp images and smooth gaming. While the fast gray-to-gray (GTG) response time, guarantees a speedier shift from one color to another.
The Scar II automatically adjusts the fan speeds depending upon the processor and GPU temperatures. With the inclusion of 12v fans, cooling system, and anti-dust tunnels, the laptop is ready to withstand any rigors of work. Since it is a gaming laptop, the keyboard has to be something that can handle those hard strokes during gaming heat. The backlit keyboard passes the 20 million keystrokes durability test and comes with 1.8mm key travel for better responsiveness.
6. Acer Aspire 7 Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6″ FHD | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti | Weight: 5.27 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 4 hours
Acer has made its name in the laptop market by providing the customers with high end features enriched systems in the affordable budget. The Acer Aspire 7 is built on the same line, with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor it can take up any intensive task. The processing is handled on the six cores that deliver a clock speed of up to 4.1GHz. You can run Kali Linux on the laptop smoothly as it comes with the 8GB DDR4 memory.
Working on different tabs and applications is made easy with the decent amount of RAM installed to the Acer Aspire 7. For storage needs, the laptop offers dual storage drives. It holds the combination of 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD that provides you with fast performance and ample storage space, respectively.
The graphics onboard are handled with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti that comes with the 4GB dedicated memory. With such powerful graphics, you can experience smooth and lifelike visuals on the screen. Coming to the display part, with Acer Aspire 7, you get a 15.6″ Full HD Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display. The Full HD display delivers a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution for sharp and crisp visuals.
There is just one drawback to the display, and that is the maximum brightness, which is below industry standards. With the 200 nits brightness, you’ll always have the brightness turned up to the max at all times. Apart from this, the laptop also embeds a fingerprint reader for secure and faster login to the system. The beautiful backlit keyboard makes it comfortable to work in dark or low light ambiance.
So here we wrap up the post on the best laptops for Kali Linux and Pentesting. We hope that you could find the desired laptop from our list. We have shortlisted the laptop considering that everyone could find a perfect match for itself. For those who want a laptop with a decent price range that provides bang for the bucks, then consider Acer Predator Helios 300, one of our awarded products. If performance and features are your primary concern, then acknowledge ASUS VivoBook Pro on our list, which is also the recommended product.