9 Best Laptops for Kali Linux and the Ethical User

Best Laptop for Kali Linux

Designed for ethical hacking in fields like cybersecurity, digital forensics and pentesting, Kali is a powerful Debian based Linux distribution. And among the best operating systems for penetration testing. It doesn’t require a lot of extra features out of the box. And you don’t need the most powerful machine to ensure its smooth operation. Nevertheless, the laptop you choose needs the hardware to handle advanced security penetration testing. Research. Computer forensics. And other fields that require penetrating highly secured areas of the internet. You need the best laptop for Kali Linux. Here are some of our top choices.

IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR TOP PICKS…

CPURAMStorageGraphics
1.Acer Predator Helios 300Intel Hexa-Core i7-10750H 16GB512GB SSDNvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Check
2.Asus VivoBook Pro 17Intel Quad-Core i7-8565u8GB512GB SSDNvidia GeForce MX150 Check
3.Dell G5 15 Gaming LaptopIntel Hexa-Core i7-9750H16GB 256GB SSD and 1TB MHD Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Check
4.MSI GF65 ThinIntel Hexa-Core i7-9750H 16GB 512GB SSDNvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti Check
5.Alienware M15 R3Intel Hexa-Core i7-10750H16GB512GB SSDNvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Check
6.Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7501)Intel Hexa-Core i7-10750H16GB1TB SSDNvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti Check
7.Asus VivoBook F510Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U 8GB 128GB SSD and 1TB MHDIntel HD Graphics 620Check
8.Acer Aspire 5Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G18GB256GB SSDNvidia GeForce MX350Check
9.ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-SlimIntel Quad-Core i7-8565U 8GB512GB SSDIntel HD Graphics 620Check

Best Laptop for Kali Linux Review

1. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-72XD
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0 GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
  • Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 3ms Overdrive Response Time, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC)
  • 16 GB DDR4 2933MHz Dual-Channel Memory, 512GB NVMe SSD (2 x M.2 slots; 1 slot open for easy upgrades) & 1 - Available Hard Drive Bay
  • 4-Zone RGB Backlit Keyboard | Wireless: Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AX 1650i 802. 11ax Wi-Fi 6; LAN: Killer Ethernet E2600 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN; DTS X: Ultra-Audio; 4th Gen All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 16:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the best laptops for the Kali Linux system is the Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop. Equipped with a 15.6-inch FHD display and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. It’s a dependable laptop geared to manage multiple Kali containers and resources.

The Predator Helios 300 weighs about 5.07 pounds and measures 14.3x10x0.9 inches, which is relatively easy to tote around. It comes in a black metal chassis with chrome accents that gives the laptop an unmistakable gaming rig aesthetic.

Inside is a 10th generation Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, a 16GB Dual-Cannel DDR4 RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD. All of which accounts for plenty of power for a smooth user experience without lag.

And when it comes to connectivity, the laptop boasts an HDMI port, a USB 3.2 port, and a MiniDP port. For audio you get a high-end 360-degree surround sound system designed by DTS X ultra. The Acer Predator Helios 300 laptop also consists of a backlit 4-Zone RGB keyboard with custom colors. Along with Predator Sense and turbo keys.

Pros:

  • Sturdy design
  • Fantastic display and graphics
  • More than capable hardware choices
  • Great keyboard design with 4-Zone RGB backlighting

Cons:

  • No SD card slot
  • Short battery life

2. Asus VivoBook Pro 17

ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Thin and Portable Laptop, 17.3” FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U Processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 – N705FN-ES76
  • Latest 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565u 1.8GHz (8M Cache, Turbo up to 4.6GHz) processor for Smooth and uninterrupted 4K UHD playback or encoding
  • 17.3” Full HD Wide view display with 72% NTSC color gamut and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 discrete graphics for flawless visuals
  • Slim 16.2” wide, 0.8” thin and portable footprint
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB M.2 SSD storage; ergonomic backlit keyboard with number pad and fingerprint reader
  • Comprehensive connections with USB-C (Gen1), USB 3.0 Type-A, USB 2.0, HDMI, & headphone/mic ports for every device

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 22:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If the work you do is mostly fixed in one location and you need more screen real estate. Thanks to larger dimensions compared to the Acer Predator Helios 300. The VivoBook Pro 17 has a 17.3-inch display which has a 1920×1080 pixel resolution. The laptop measures 16.2×10.6×0.8 inches that looks sleek and stylish. The lightweight design is easy to carry around at 4.85 pounds.

The Asus VivoBook Pro 17 comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and an SSD drive with a 512GB capacity and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card. That’s enough horsepower to handle penetration testing or security analysis.

The VivoBook Pro 17 also comes with four ports, including one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. And you also get Type-A and Type-C USB 3.0 ports.

The Asus SonicMaster software provides excellent support for a fantastic audio experience. Since the speakers are placed on the bottom of the laptop. Sound tends to be muffled and not quite as loud as it can be. Asus VivoBook Pro 17 also features a backlit keyboard, delivering a good typing experience.

Pros:

  • Backlit keyboard
  • Sleek and sturdy design that’s lightweight and portable
  • Large display with quality graphics

Cons:

• Short battery life
• Audio could be better

3. Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop

Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop (Windows 10 Home, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GTX 1650, 15.6" FHD LCD Screen, 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA, 16 GB RAM) G5590-7679BLK-PUS
  • Lead the pack with an elegant sleek design that keeps heads turning
  • An innovative dual-fan cooling system with an advanced thermal design ensures that your system stays cool as the action heats up
  • 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) anti-Glare LED backlight non-touch narrow border IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR5 Graphics
  • 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750h (12MB Cache, up to 4. 5 GHz, 6 Cores)

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 22:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dell’s entry-level gaming laptop the G5 15 has numerous features that make it suitable for Kali Linux. Measuring 14.3×10.8x 0.95 inches, it weighs 3.79 pounds making it highly portable.

The G5 15 has a 15.6-inch display with a 1920×1080-pixel resolution that offers great visual performance. The thin size of the bezel works to enhance the view.

As a Kali Linux user, you’ll be happy to know that the laptop also consists of a 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor, ensuring uninterrupted performance of such a high-end system. With that comes a 16GB DDR4 RAM, along with a 256GB SSD and 1TB MHD (mechanical hard drive). And you get an Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics card for graphical performance.

There are several ports on the left side, including an Ethernet port, a charger port, a USB Type-C port, a Superspeed USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, and an HDMI 2.0 MiniDP port. And on the right, there’s a headset jack, two USB 3.0 ports, and an SD card reader. Additionally, the G5 15 has a dual-fan cooling system preventing the laptop from overheating. Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller, a 4-Zone Backlit keyboard, and a built-in dual speaker audio system.

Pros:

• Dual-fan cooling system
• RGB backlit keyboard
• SD card reader

Cons:

• Design isn’t as sleek as laptops on this list
• It has a relatively short battery life

4. MSI GF65 Thin

MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 15.6" 120Hz Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-9750H GTX1660Ti 16GB 512GB NVMe SSD Win10Home
  • 15. 6" Fhd (1920*1080), IPS-Level 120Hz thin Bezel
  • Processor: Core i7-9750h 2. 6 - 4. 5GHz
  • Graphics : NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti 6G GDDR6
  • Memory: 16GB (8G*2) DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 64GB
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 22:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Just how “thin” is the MSI GF65 Thin laptop? The plastic body measures 14.13x10x0.85 inches. And with a weight of 4.1 pounds, it’s easy to take with you on commutes. Opening the black metallic lid reveals a 15.6-inch display which has a 1920×1080 native resolution.

Inside is a 9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD to run Kali Linux. Doing the heavy graphical lifting is a potent Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics processor with 6GB of RAM.

The GF65 Thin has a backlit keyboard which is wider than that of other laptops, making it one of the best laptops for Kali Linux, especially for long typing sessions. Several ports include an HDMI output port, a headset jack, a pair of USB Type-C ports, an Ethernet port, and a USB Type-A port. Heat emitted from the performance of the CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit) is effectively eliminated through MSI’s thermal cooling techniques to prevent the laptop from undue wear and tear caused by overheating.

Pros:

• Lightweight and easy to carry
• High-quality graphics
• Effective thermal cooling solution
• A wider and bigger backlit keyboard for spacious typing

Cons:

• Battery power gets gobbled up, especially under intense laptop use
• Insufficient lighting options

5. Dell Alienware M15 R3

Alienware m15 R3 15.6inch FHD Gaming Laptop (Lunar Light) Intel Core i7-10750H 10th Gen, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6, Windows 10 Home (AWm15-7272WHT-PUS)
  • High-end materials like magnesium alloy, copper and steel provide a premium, lightweight and performance-driven gaming experience with iconic AlienFX lighting
  • 144Hz 300nits 7ms Full HD for smooth, high-speed motion graphics
  • Alienware Cryo-Tech optimizes component cooling, which maximizes overall performance and keeps your laptop cool to the touch
  • FHD display with 7ms response time, 800:1 contrast ratio, 144Hz refresh rate and 300-nit brightness for pulse-racing gameplay
  • At just 4.65lb and under 20.5mm, the new Alienware m15 is the thinnest laptop in Alienware history—even lighter and leaner than our previous m15

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 22:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Alienware M15 R3 is also a good gaming laptop choice for the Kali Linux system. It measures 14.19×10.87×0.78 inches on its tallest side and weighs 4.65 pounds. Made of magnesium alloy and lightweight copper materials, it feels lightweight and portable with smooth corners and edges promoting easy handling.

You get a 15.6-inch display with a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate delivering great visuals. Graphical power comes from a dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. The hardware list also consisting of a 10th generation Intel core i7-1075H processor, a 16GB DDR-4 RAM and an SSD with a 512GB capacity.

Additionally, the laptop has an eye-tracking sensor that makes it possible to control the laptop with your eyes. There are two Type-A ports on the right edge, a USB 3.3 Gen 1 port and a microSD card slot. On the left side is a port for an Ethernet cable, a multifunctional jack, and a USB 3.2 port. The built-in fans are made of copper and magnesium alloy materials which do a great job at keeping the laptop cool under pressure.

Pros:

• Enhanced cooling mechanism
• Lightweight and portable
• Great display
• Large storage capacity

Cons:

• One of the chunkiest laptops on the list
• RAM isn’t upgradeable

6. Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7501)

Dell Inspiron 15 Plus 7501 Laptop, 15.6" FHD LED Backlit Touchscreen, i7-10750H, GTX 1650Ti, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, Webcam, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, WiFi6, Bluetooth, Win 10 Home
  • 【Memory & Storage】16GB DDR4 RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once. 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive provides fast bootup, ample storage space and speedy data transfer
  • 【Powerful Processor】10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H (6 Core, 12 Threads, 12MB Cache, 2.60 GHz base frequency up to 5.00 GHz max turbo frequency) offers power of an unrelenting performance
  • 【Dazzling Display】15.6 inches diagonal Full HD 1080p LED-Backlit Touch Display, Narrow Boarder, Wide Viewing Angle, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 【Carry a lighter load】 Dual-fans, dual-heat pipes and a drop-hinge design keep your system cool while working, while new vents above the keyboard and under the laptop improve airflow, helping keep this laptop thinner.
  • 【Tech Specs】2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C with Thunderbolt/DisplayPort/PowerDelivery, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Micro SD Card Reader, 1 x Headphone / Mic combo jack; Built-in HD Webcam with dual array digital microphones; Backlit Keyboard with numeric keypad, Fingerprint Reader; Waves MaxxAudio Dual speakers; Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5 Combo; 6-cell 97WHr bettery with ExpressCharge; Windows 10 Home 64-bit

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 22:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why is the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 also included as one of the best laptops for Kali Linux? Several reasons. The laptop measures 14.02×9.23×0.74 inches and weighs about 3.39 pounds.

The 15.6-inch screen boasts 1920×1080 pixel resolution, which is becoming the norm for most laptops. One feature that distinguishes the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 laptops from other laptops on the list is the touch screen capability.

Powering the machine is a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB PCIe SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti graphics card. The keyboard’s design has efficient travel to keep from feeling like you’re bottoming out. And it allows for quick typing for long periods without fatigue. The keyboard also features a large touchpad and a left hinge for improved comfort when typing.

You get three USB Type-A ports, a Thunderbolt 3 support port, an HDMI port, and a slot for the microSD card. Adaptive thermal cooling features protect against overheating, which means you can use the laptop for a long time without excessive heat buildup.

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 laptop also encompasses a sensor for automatically opening the lid, a fingerprint scanner, an express charge capability, and slots for installing the additional drive, RAM, and an M.2 PCIe port.

Pros:

• Improved thermal cooling features
• Ability to upgrade storage and RAM
• Fingerprint scanner and lid opening sensor
• The keyboard’s design allows for more comfort.
• Quick charging technology

Cons:

  • Graphics aren’t impressive

7. Asus VivoBook F510

ASUS VivoBook Thin and Lightweight FHD WideView Laptop, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD+1TB HDD, USB Type-C, NanoEdge, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 10 - F510UA-AH55
  • Powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i5 8250U 1.6GHz (Turbo up to 3.4GHz) processor
  • 15.6 Inches Full HD WideView display with ASUS Splendid software enhancement
  • 14.2 inches wide, 0.8 inches thin and portable footprint with 0.3 inches ASUS NanoEdge bezel for a stunning 80% screen to body ratio
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD storage combo; Ergonomic chiclet keyboard with fingerprint sensor
  • Comprehensive connections including USB 3.1 Type C (Gen1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI; Lightning fast 802.11ac Wi Fi keeps you connected through any congestion or interference

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 22:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For a professional malware analyst looking to design an air-tight system against spoofing attacks, the Asus VivoBook is one of the best laptops for the Kali Linux system.

Measuring 14.2×9.6×0.8-inches and weighing 3.7 pounds, the VivoBook F510 is lightweight and portable. It features a 0.3-inch nano edge bezel surrounding a 15.6-inch LED-backlit display. The result is an 8 to 1 screen-to-body ratio that enhances the 1920×1080 pixel resolution display. There are four different display modes, including normal, vivid, manual, and Eye-care mode so you can dial in the best visual experience.

The VivoBook F510 uses an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor with an 8GB DDR4 RAM. You also get ample storage thanks to a 128GB SSD serving for the laptop’s overall speed, along with a roomy 1TB MHD.

The unit even comes with several ports on both the left side and the right side to hook up peripheries. On the left side is a slot for a microSD card and two Type-A USB 3.0 ports. And on the right is a headset jack, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, and an HDMI port.

The keyboard is easy to use inviting you to type for long stretches of time. You can use the bass and treble features to enhance and tweak the sound of the dual stereo speakers.

Pros:

• Lightweight, sleek, portable design
• Impressive sound
• Great display features

Cons:

• Lacks a backlit keyboard
• Short battery life

8. Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5 A515-55G-57H8, 15.6" Full HD IPS Display, 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1, NVIDIA GeForce MX350, 8GB DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Intel Wireless WiFi 6 AX201, Backlit KB, Windows 10 Home
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 Processor (Up to 3.6GHz)| 8GB DDR4 Memory | 512GB NVMe SSD
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS Display | NVIDIA GeForce MX350 with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
  • Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11ax | Backlit Keyboard | HD Webcam | Up to 8 Hours Battery Life
  • 1 - USB 3.1 (Type-C) Gen 1 port (up to 5 Gbps), 2 - USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port (one with Power-off Charging), 1 - USB 2.0 Port & 1 - HDMI Port with HDCP Support
  • Windows 10 Home

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 18:47 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re professional commitments aren’t that demanding and you’re just looking for an affordable machine for the Kali Linux operating system. The Acer Aspire 5 also comes with an Intel Core i5 processor and an 8GB DDR4 RAM.

Measuring 14.3×9.9×0.7 inches and weighing the 3.7 pounds, the styling is understated yet subtle and sleek. Once you open to the lid, you’re greeted to minimal black bezel surrounding a 15.6-inch display snuggled into the silver casing. The 1920×1080-pixel resolution display with IPS is bright with good color saturation.

For storage you get a whopping 512GB NVMe SSD. And graphical power comes from a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX350 graphics card, which is an excellent choice for high-quality graphics.

The next thing you’ll notice is a full backlit Chiclet-style keyboard sitting above the touchpad. It’s highly responsive, but the keys feel mushy. The ample palm rest gives you the feeling you’re using a much larger laptop. There’s a 4.1×3.1-inch touchpad that’s just as responsive to Windows 10 gestures. And in the upper right corner is a fingerprint scanner that’s compatible with Windows Hello for security.

Connectivity options include a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 port with two USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 1 ports, a USB 2.1 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a microSD card slot and Ethernet port.

Pros:

• 512GB SSD
• Dedicated Nvidia graphics
• Ample keyboard and touchpad room for typing
• Good display for hours of work

Cons:

• Mushy keys
• Below average battery life

9. Asus ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim

ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop 13.3” FHD WideView, 8th-Gen Intel Core i7-8565U Processor, 8GB LPDDR3, 512GB PCIe SSD, Backlit KB, NumberPad, Military-Grade, Windows 10 - UX333FA-AB77 Royal Blue
  • Powerful & fast for effortless on-the-go computing: 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD & 16GB RAM
  • Durable & reliable: meets the ultra-demanding MIL-STD-810G military standard for reliability and durability, undergoing a punishing testing regime
  • Long battery life: powered by a high-capacity battery that won’t let you down
  • Exclusive ErgoLift design: an engineering masterpiece designed to automatically tilt the keyboard to the most comfortable typing position, plus it improves cooling and audio performance
  • Professional Grade: use Windows your way with Windows 10 Professional and hardware TPM security

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 16:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ultrabooks are great laptop choices for working in fields like cybersecurity and digital forensics. Their small footprint makes it easy to take along with you on assignment. The Asus ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim is such a laptop with a sleek design featuring a slim and compact body.

Made of aluminum the chassis measures 11.9×7.4×0.7 pounds. Having met ultra-demanding MIL-STD-810G military standards for reliability and durability, this is a laptop you can count on to go along with you in any environment.

You get a glossy 13.3-inch panel that’s colorful if not on the dim side with 225 nits of brightness and a 1920×1080-pixel resolution. And you get a great amount of detail. The ZenBook 13 utilizes the Intel HD 620 graphics card, which has a good reputation for an impressive visual experience.

To run the Kali Linux OS is an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor that can operate at speeds of up to 4.6 GHz along with 8GB of RAM. This means that the laptop performs smoothly even under intensive usage conditions without lagging or becoming unresponsive. In addition, the ZenBook 13 comes with a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, which is sufficient for the kind of tasks you’ll be undertaking with Kali Linux.

Key travel is a bit shallow featuring basic white backlighting and a cool digital number pad built into the touchpad. You can activate it by holding the top right of the pad. At only 3.9×2.1-inches, the touchpad is small but responsive. The laptop comes with several ports, including an HDMI port, a headset jack, several USB 3.0 Type-A and Type-C ports, and a port for the charger. The laptop’s battery life is quite long since it can last for around 6 hours under moderate usage.

Pros:

• Slim and compact design for easy portability
• Great display for a better visual experience
• Large storage capacity and processing speed

Cons:

• Battery life is not as impressive as that of other laptops
• Keyboard not optimized for better typing experience

Laptop
Our Top Choice
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-72XD
ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Thin and Portable Laptop, 17.3” FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U Processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 – N705FN-ES76
Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop (Windows 10 Home, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GTX 1650, 15.6" FHD LCD Screen, 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA, 16 GB RAM) G5590-7679BLK-PUS
Specs
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-72XD
ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Thin and Portable Laptop, 17.3” FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U Processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 – N705FN-ES76
Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop (Windows 10 Home, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GTX 1650, 15.6" FHD LCD Screen, 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA, 16 GB RAM) G5590-7679BLK-PUS
Rating
-
-
Customer Review
Our Top Choice
Laptop
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-72XD
Specs
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-72XD
Rating
Customer Review
Laptop
ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Thin and Portable Laptop, 17.3” FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U Processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 – N705FN-ES76
Specs
ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Thin and Portable Laptop, 17.3” FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U Processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 – N705FN-ES76
Rating
-
Customer Review
Laptop
Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop (Windows 10 Home, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GTX 1650, 15.6" FHD LCD Screen, 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA, 16 GB RAM) G5590-7679BLK-PUS
Specs
Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop (Windows 10 Home, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GTX 1650, 15.6" FHD LCD Screen, 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA, 16 GB RAM) G5590-7679BLK-PUS
Rating
-
Customer Review

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 16:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Laptop for Kali Linux – Buying Guide

Prior to 2019, Kali Linux came with the GNOME desktop environment. Updated with the XFCE environment, the operating system is more lightweight and faster than its predecessor. While you don’t need a supercomputer to run Kali Linux. You do need a laptop with good specifications. One with extraordinary durability to keep up with drawn out hacking sessions. Here’s the hardware your laptop needs for Kali Linux.

CPU

Practically any high-performance processor will do; even ARM CPUs are compatible with Kali Linux. You want at least a dual-core processor, however. This will help you with any CPU heavy tasks you encounter.

To make the most of those multiple cores, we recommend your prioritize laptops featuring the latest CPUs from the 9th and 10th generation. Examples of really good processors for the Kali Linux OS include a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 chipsets.

Another area where more cores come in handy is if you’re going to iterate over the hashes via the CPU and not the graphics card. If you decide to work with a virtual machine, you can allocate two cores to each virtual machine with graphical interface. Except for programs that sort hashes, most programs aren’t that demanding on processor power.

RAM

Kali is a very lightweight OS that you can run with only 2GB of RAM. If you’re installing it as a basic SSH server with no desktop, then you’ll only need 128MB of RAM (512MB recommended).

Although you only need 2GB of RAM to run Kali, a laptop used for cybersecurity needs at least 8GB of DDR4 RAM, which will have a top speed of 2400 MHz. In the same way, using Kali with a graphical interface requires 3-4GB of RAM. If you plan to use the OS for pentesting in say a virtual machine, you’ll need 8GB of memory to run the system and other programs.

Running multiple programs or building several virtual machines will require up to 16GB of RAM. But it’s unlikely that you’ll need more for comfortable pentesting.

Storage Drive

The type of storage drive and its capacity are also important considerations when buying a new laptop for Kali Linux. Since Kali Linux is a lightweight distribution, it doesn’t require a lot of room like the Windows operating system.

At bear minimum, you’ll need at least 20GB of storage space to operate Kali Linux. Installing it as a basic SSH server without a desktop means you only need 2GB of storage space, however.

Penetration testing doesn’t require a great deal of storage space either. But speed is the name of the game here. Using Kali entails executing numerous instructions which require high speeds. For that reason, stay clear of systems only offering the antiquated MHD (mechanical hard drive) as SSDs (solid-state drives) are so much faster.

The laptop for Kali Linux should have a high storage capacity to hold vast amounts of data. You should therefore consider an SSD drive that has 256GB or more.

Graphics Card

If you’re familiar with using the hash function, then you know that this operation can be done using the CPU. But it’s been found that using a GPU can make the process over a thousand times faster.

In general, you don’t need a dedicated graphics card to use Kali Linux. Brute-force attacks require a dedicated graphics card. But you still don’t need to go all out here. Any midrange dedicated GPU from AMD or Nividia’s GeForce will do the job.

There was a time when AMD was better suited for sorting hashes. But today, top-end GeForce cards give you more than twice the performance of top-end Radeon GPUs. Plus, AMD graphics cards aren’t always supported by Linux distros.68.

Cooling System

Cybersecurity, pentesting and digital forensics can all be heat generating activities. Especially as you handle many tasks simultaneously and for long periods of time. Overheating results in laggy performance and even the laptop becoming unresponsive.

Thus, an effective cooling system is necessary to ensure a smooth experience. Different laptops are designed differently in terms of their cooling mechanism. A good laptop for Kali Linux should have dual fans to keep things cool. You should consider purchasing compressed air to keep air pathways free of debris.

Keyboard

A laptop for Kali Linux means choosing a portable computer with a good quality keyboard. Hacking requires typing. A lot of typing. And typing for long stretches of time. A laptop with a good quality keyboard makes the experience so much easier. The keyboard should be enhanced for comfort and speed to ward off typing fatigue.

Placement of keys on the keyboard should encourage fast typing. In most cases, a wide keyboard is preferable for a Kali Linux laptop this way there’s enough room for your fingers to fly about the keyboard.

Opt for a laptop that offers a backlit keyboard since you never know where this field will take you, and you might find yourself needing to type in the dark.

Design

Although they’ve become more svelte in recent generations, gaming laptops are still rather thick and heavy portable computers. What about notebooks? While they’re good about portability, they’re lacking in power for this kind of work.

For cybersecurity, portability really matters. A sleek, lightweight, and sturdy design allows you the flexibility of being able to go anywhere to test networks without being encumbered by the weight of your laptop. Ultrabooks are good choice – they’re powerful laptops with portability in the forefront of their design.

Battery Life

If you work in an environment where there’s always access to power outlets. Then the battery life of the laptop you use for activities that involve Kali Linux really doesn’t matter. But in general, for this kind of activity, we recommend getting a laptop with a pretty good battery runtime.

If you’re going for a budget laptop, then opt for one that offers at least a 4–5-hour runtime. But do take a battery backup with you. That’s why a machine that can give you 10 hours of battery life would be best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the Kali Linux system on a Windows 10 Operating System?

Yes.
Although it was not previously possible, you can now run the Kali Linux on a Windows 10 Operating System without much hassle. As you know, Kali Linux is an operating system from Linux, and its open source. It’s mostly deployed in penetration testing and for hacking into other systems. Although Windows and Linux are completely different operating systems, Windows has launched a new feature called “Windows Subsystem for Linux” (WSL).

WSL makes it possible for users who have a Windows 10 OS to run Linux applications on their laptop directly without requiring virtualization and other techniques. To begin using Kali Linux on a Windows 10 OS, you only need to download the application from the Microsoft app store. And once you install the app, you’re ready to go. This process means you don’t have to uninstall the Windows 10 operating system to use Kali Linux since they’re now compatible.

What are the minimum system requirements for Kali Linux?

Kali Linux does not require too many requirements for you to install and use the operating system. But your laptop needs at least 2GB of RAM. At least a 20GB storage space. And a processor with at least a 1GHz speed. However, if the laptop has higher metrics, the system will run more smoothly and faster.

Is Kali Linux legal or illegal?

Kali Linux is legal.
It’s not illegal to download and install any openly available operating system. Kali Linux is an open-source software enhanced for penetration testing and ethical hacking. It would not be illegal if you own and use the Kali Linux operating system on your laptop.

However, if you use the software to hack into other systems without permission, this would be illegal since hacking is not legal. You should only use Kali Linux for learning purposes, testing the security features of a system, and ethical hacking to avoid unnecessary legal complications.

Which Brand is most suited for the Kali Linux system?

Many brands support the Kali Linux system.

As discussed in the previous sections, you can operate Kali Linux on a wide range of laptops from different manufacturers. These brands or manufacturers include Apple, Asus, Dell, MSI, Acer, and New Alienware laptops. The most important factors determining whether the laptop is suitable for the Kali Linux system include:

  • The processing power and speed.
  • Storage drive type and capacity.
  • The amount of Memory/RAM.
  • Graphics card quality.
  • Cooling capabilities.

If the laptop meets the minimum requirements, it’ll most likely run Kali Linux with no issues.

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, RGB Keyboard, PH315-53-72XD
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0 GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
  • Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 3ms Overdrive Response Time, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC)
  • 16 GB DDR4 2933MHz Dual-Channel Memory, 512GB NVMe SSD (2 x M.2 slots; 1 slot open for easy upgrades) & 1 - Available Hard Drive Bay
  • 4-Zone RGB Backlit Keyboard | Wireless: Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AX 1650i 802. 11ax Wi-Fi 6; LAN: Killer Ethernet E2600 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN; DTS X: Ultra-Audio; 4th Gen All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan

Last update on 2021-10-12 at 16:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Wrapping Up

Our top choice for the Kali Linux operating system is the Asus Predator Helios 300. For a gaming laptop the chassis is sleek. And you get all the powerful hardware you could possibly need for cybersecurity, digital forensics and pentesting. Next, is the Asus VivoBook 17. Dimensions are bigger to accommodate a larger screen. Plus, you still get great components for your work. And our third choice is the Dell G5 15 Gaming laptop with its large storage capacity and SSD with its own 256GB capacity to ensure you have the headroom to do all the things you need to do with Kali Linux.