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Last updated on September 1st, 2020 at 03:41 pm

Top 6 Best Laptops For Kali Linux 2020

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Last updated on November 24th, 2020 at 10:58 am

Kali Linux serves as the main OS when it comes to pentesting. White hat hackers use Pentesting to test the strength of a security system. By knowing the weak points of a security system, you can make it stronger against cyber-attacks. This is one of the main reasons why major companies look for Pentesters.

To start Pentesting you need a laptop to install Kali Linux on. And you want to the best laptop you can get your hands on.

In this article, we list the best laptops for Kali Linux.  


Position
First Place
Runner Up
Best Budget
Snapshot
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way NanoEdge 14” FHD, Intel Core i5-10210U, 8GB RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 5, Windows 10 Home, Utopia Blue, UX431FA-EH55
Dell XPS 13 Laptop, 13.3", FHD, Intel Core I5-8265U, Intel UHD 620, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, XPS9380-5953SLV-PUS
Lenovo Thinkpad T430 Built Business Laptop Computer (Intel Dual Core i5 Up to 3.3 Ghz Processor, 8GB Memory, 320GB HDD, Webcam, DVD, Windows 10 Professional) (Renewed)
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

Great value and performance. The ASUS ZenBook 14 is one of the best Kali Linux Compatible laptops.

Dell are the most recommended laptops for running Linux including the Dell XPS 13.

Build like a tank, easily upgradeable and cheap. The Lenovo ThinkPad T430 is the best budget laptop for Kali Linux and Pentesting.

Prime
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Position
First Place
Snapshot
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way NanoEdge 14” FHD, Intel Core i5-10210U, 8GB RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 5, Windows 10 Home, Utopia Blue, UX431FA-EH55
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

Great value and performance. The ASUS ZenBook 14 is one of the best Kali Linux Compatible laptops.

Prime
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Position
Runner Up
Snapshot
Dell XPS 13 Laptop, 13.3", FHD, Intel Core I5-8265U, Intel UHD 620, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, XPS9380-5953SLV-PUS
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

Dell are the most recommended laptops for running Linux including the Dell XPS 13.

Prime
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Position
Best Budget
Snapshot
Lenovo Thinkpad T430 Built Business Laptop Computer (Intel Dual Core i5 Up to 3.3 Ghz Processor, 8GB Memory, 320GB HDD, Webcam, DVD, Windows 10 Professional) (Renewed)
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

Build like a tank, easily upgradeable and cheap. The Lenovo ThinkPad T430 is the best budget laptop for Kali Linux and Pentesting.

Prime
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Last update on 2020-11-26 at 15:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Preview
Name
Rating
Processor, GPU & RAM
 
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way NanoEdge 14” FHD, Intel Core i5-10210U, 8GB RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 5, Windows 10 Home, Utopia Blue, UX431FA-EH55

Intel Core i5, Intel HD Graphics, 8GB
Dell XPS 13 Laptop, 13.3', FHD, Intel Core I5-8265U, Intel UHD 620, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, XPS9380-5953SLV-PUS

Intel Core i5, Intel HD Graphics, 8GB
ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook 15 Thin And Light Laptop, 15.6” Full HD, AMD Quad Core R5-3500U CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Windows 10 Home,Slate Gray

AMD Ryzen 5, AMD Radeon Vega 8, 8GB
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6' Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, Vega 8 Graphics, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 Home, A515-43-R5RE, Silver

AMD Ryzen 5, AMD Radeon Vega 8, 8GB
New HP 15.6' HD Touchscreen Laptop Intel Core i3-1005G1 8GB DDR4 RAM 128GB SSD HDMI Bluetooth 802.11/b/g/n/ac Windows 10 15-dy1731ms Silver

Intel Core i3, Intel HD Graphics, 8GB
Lenovo Thinkpad T430 Built Business Laptop Computer (Intel Dual Core i5 Up to 3.3 Ghz Processor, 8GB Memory, 320GB HDD, Webcam, DVD, Windows 10 Professional) (Renewed)

Intel Core i5, Intel HD Graphics, 8GB

Here Are The Best Kali Linux Laptops


Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Lightweight
  • Beautiful design
  • Good display

Cons

  • Lots of bloatware

CPU: Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8 GB | Screen: 14″ Thin Bezel Full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 256GB SSD 

When it comes to great value laptop, the ASUS ZenBook 14 is the best laptop for Kali Linux and Pentesting.

It has a 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) almost bezel-less display. The almost bezel-less design gives the ZenBook a great aesthetic appeal. In addition, to its smooth and shiny finish. The ASUS ZenBook 14 looks and feels professional. 

Performance is also not lacking. It has an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD. Enough performance to handle your everyday tasks.

Apart from performance, it is also very light and slim. Battery life is about 6 -7 hours which is quite decent. And depending on how to tweak the setting. You can get an extra hour or two. 

Overall, the ASUS ZenBook 14 is one of the best laptops for Kali Linux and Pentesting because of its performance and lightweight. It is a rigid and robust ultrabook that will last a very long time and still be able to perform.


Where To Buy

$1,047.99

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Lots of battery life
  • Solid performance
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Superb display

Cons

  • Only USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. USB dongle required

CPU: Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8 GB | Screen: 13.3″ Thin Bezel Full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 256GB SSD 

Dell laptops are the best laptops for Kali Linux and that includes the Dell XPS 13.

The Dell XPS 13 is for Pentesters who want something small and compact, while at the same time has a solid performance.

This is a thin and light device that you can easily carry around. Powered by an Intel Core i5 and 8GB RAM. It has enough power for running Kali Linux and multitasking.

The laptop is also well-built thanks to its anodized aluminium body, so you can expect to use this for a few years.

The display is a 13.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge, a beautiful display with thin bezels. It is bright, vibrant and has great viewing angles. Colour accuracy and reproduction are also above average. In short, the display fantastic.

Battery life is fantastic being able to last 11-12 hours under consistent use.

The only downside about the Dell XPS 13 is the fact that you need a USB dock because of the limited port selection (Thunderbolt 3 ports only). 

Overall, the Dell XPS 13 is a beautiful piece of machinery. Small, compact and easily fits into your bag. A solid laptop to consider when looking for the best Kali Linux compatible laptop.


Pros

  • Great value
  • Solid performance
  • Sleek design
  • Slim and lightweight

Cons

  • Not the best viewing angles
  • 256GB storage might not be enough

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 × 1080) IPS | Storage: 256GB SSD

The ASUS VivoBook 15 is another best value laptop for Kali Linux and Pentesting, a lightweight laptop that you can easily carry around. And its price-to-performance ratio gives the best bang for the buck. 

The performance is more than enough to run Linux. Thanks to its AMD Ryzen 5 and 8GB RAM. You also have 256GB SSD for fast boot-up speeds and data transfer.

The display on the laptop is decent. Good brightness and sharpness. The viewing angles are not so great though, but it is not a big deal. 

Battery life is decent. The ASUS VivoBook 15 is able to last 6-7 hours under consistent use. You can get 7-8 hours if you tweak certain settings.

To sum it all up, the ASUS VivoBook 15 is a great value laptop. And the price-to-performance ratio is one of the best. This makes it one of the best laptops for Kali Linux.


Pros

  • Good performance for the price
  • Good battery life
  • Affordable
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • Loud fan
  • Not the brightest display

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS | Storage: 256GB SSD

If you are on a tight budget, you should consider the Acer Aspire 5, the best cheap laptop for Kali Linux and Pentesting that will get the job done.

Keep in mind that since it is a cheap laptop, there will certainly be some compromises. And for the Acer Aspire 5’s case, it’s the fan which is loud.

Furthermore, although the display is decent, it isn’t bright and the viewing angles are not so great because this teaching with this laptop should be done indoors not outdoors.

The good news is that performance is more than enough for Kali Linux and Pentesting.

The laptop also has a good battery life being able to last 8 hours under average. It is also thin and light, making it portable and easy to carry around. 

Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is the best affordable Kali Linux laptop if you are on a budget. It gets a lot of things right for a budget laptop and will get the job done.

A solid option if you don’t mind its not-so-bright display and loud fan. Highly-recommended.


Pros

  • Solid Overall Performance
  • Nice Professional Design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Display Is Not Full HD
  • Loud Fans

CPU: Intel Core i3 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6″ HD (1366 x 768) LED-backlit IPS | Storage: 128GB SSD

The HP Pavilion 15 is another best laptop for Kali Linux, Pentesting and hacking. The overall design is great. A simple aluminium chassis that gives off a professional vibe.

Plus, it is a lightweight device. It weighs 4.5 pounds and it’s under an inch thick. This makes it perfect for travelling or moving around.

The performance itself is decent. An Intel Core i3, and 8GB RAM, enough processing power for Linux OS. You also have a fast SSD storage. It would have been great if it was 256GB, not 128GB.

The display is a kind of mixed feeling. It’s not a Full HD (1920 x 1080), but rather an HD (1366 x 768). Modern laptops should at least have a Full HD resolution. HP could have done better by making it a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display.

The only redeeming factor of the display is that there less power drain on the battery. This leads to better battery life overall. But still doesn’t justify its resolution.

The other downside is its fans. It kicks up and makes a lot of noise under heavy loads. If you are sensitive to noise, it will be a big problem for you.

About the battery life, it is above average. You are looking at 8-9 hours under consistent use.

Overall, the HP Pavilion 15 is a laptop with solid performance and good battery life. One of the best laptops for Kali Linux and Pentesting.


Where To Buy

$305.00

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Easy To Upgrade
  • Built Like A Tank

Cons

  • Poor Display
  • Poor Battery Life
  • No Webcam

CPU: Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14″ HD (1366×768) LCD| Storage: 320GB HDD

The Lenovo ThinkPad T430 value lies in the fact that it’s a very affordable laptop for Kali Linux and Pentesting. And the best part is because it’s so affordable, upgrading it won’t cost much. 

This makes the best affordable laptop for Kali Linux and Pentesting when starting out. The build quality is solid and built like a tank. The main reason why it still exists in the market.

The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 320GB HDD. Although the processor is old it is still capable. And as mentioned earlier, you can easily upgrade the RAM and SSD. So, it is not a problem.

Just like most old or outdated laptops compared to today’s laptops, you will find that the display is poor. Laptop displays have improved over the years. They now have higher resolution and colour gamut. If you think having a great display is a deal-breaker, then you will be disappointed with this laptop.

The battery life also sucks. It behaves like a desktop. Plug the charger and it turns on. Disconnect the charger and the ThinkPad T430 shuts down. Fortunately, you can swap out the battery for a new one. That will give you at least 2-3 hours of use.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T430 is the best cheap Kali Linux laptop. It’s cost-effective, easy to upgrade, and built like a tank. Highly-recommended. 


What Is The Best Laptop For Kali Linux and Pentesting?

The ASUS ZenBook 14 and Dell XPS 13 are the best Kali Linux laptops. They are both affordable and highly compatible with Kali Linux.

If you are on a tight budget. The best cheap laptops for Kali Linux and Pentesting are the HP Pavilion 15 and Lenovo ThinkPad T430. Solid laptops that will get the job done.

How To Find The Best Laptop For Kali Linux and Pentesting

Here are a few things to know when looking for the best Kali Linux compatible laptops.

What Processor Is Best For Kali Linux?

Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 is good enough CPUs to run Kali Linux. However, Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 is recommended.

You don’t need a powerful CPU like the ones in gaming laptops to run Kali Linux. It just has to be decent enough. The Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 are more than enough to get the job done.

How Much RAM Is Required For Kali Linux and Pentesting

The recommended amount of RAM your laptop should have for Kali Linux is 8GB. Currently, 4GB RAM is not enough especially if you are planning to run Kali Linux and Pentesting. Also, it doesn’t hurt to upgrade your RAM when the need arises. But, as at now 8GB run is more than enough. 

Storage

Doesn’t matter the amount of storage space. So far as it is an SSD, you are good to go.

SSDs are faster and better than HDDs because your laptop will boot-up, transfer data and launch applications faster than an HDD storage. 

Battery Life

Unless you plan on working far away from a power source, 8 hours of battery life is the average and recommended amount you want a laptop to have. All in all, 5 hours is the minimum amount of battery life your laptop of choice should have. 

Budget

A budget is the first thing you should think about when getting a laptop because knowing how much you are willing to spend on a laptop is very important. You will make sure you get your money’s worth and choose something that will meet your needs.

Final Thoughts

Using a separate laptop as a dedicated set-up for Kali Linux and Pentesting is a good idea and you need the best laptop you can get. Fortunately, we have already done the research for you.

That’s it for the best laptops for Kali Linux and Pentesting.

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