Fast internet and the right laptop are critical for success in a cybersecurity course. The quality of your laptop dictates the pace at which you can run your projects and your overall experience with virtual machines.
The 4 Best Laptops For 2020:
With the best laptop for cybersecurity, you can run several password recovery apps and operate on virtual labs with optimal speed. Additionally, you can test malicious code without overheating or damaging your PC.
In this guide, we tackle the top laptops for cybersecurity students that have a powerful processor, quality RAM, fast access speed storage, and long battery life. All these, without parting with a ridiculously high figure.
9 Best Laptop For Cyber Security for Students (most secure laptop 2020)
It is, however, key to note that these are not just good laptops for cybersecurity but also some of the best laptops for ethical hacking. Having cleared that out, let’s dive into the review.
- HP Premium Spectre X360 13.3″
- Display 13.3-inch 1,920×1,080 display
- PC CPU 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U
- PC Memory 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz
- Graphics 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Storage 256GB SSD, microSD slot
- Ports 2 x USB-C/Thunderbolt, 1 x USB 3.1 Type A, 1 x combo audio
- Networking 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
- Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
- Weight 2.8 lb/1.3kg
Opening our list is HP Spectre X360. What makes this the alpha in our choice of the best laptops for cybersecurity 2020 is its blend of quality features for managing demanding software.
The laptop features a 13.3-inch laptop with an appealing design. Unlike some models, this display is ideal for viewing multiple tabs, thus managing projects better.
For an approximate price of $1,600 on amazon, this laptop offers specs worthy its price tag. Even better, this laptop has a high transmission speed of 133MHz and a sizable 256 GB SSD. Unlike hard disk drives (HDD), solid-state drives (SSD), offer faster access time and use lesser power thus are ideal for running programs faster.
The DDR4 SDRAM provides for lesser power consumption, less heat production and a longer battery lifespan. As such, this is the best laptop for cybersecurity students as it ensures that you spend less on power and battery replacements.
The weight of this product is also ideal for back carrying without causing muscular tension.
Another stunning spec of HP Spectre line is its powerful battery that can last for up to 10 hours on heavy usage. As such, the HP Spectre X360 is the best laptop for cybersecurity virtualization right now.
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8850H 6 core Processor (2.60GHz, up to 4.30GHz with Turbo Boost, 9MB Cache)
- OS: Windows 10 Professional 64bit
- Display: 15.6” 4K UHD HDR (3840 x 2160) IPS multi-touch, anti-reflective / anti-smudge, 400 nits, 100% Adobe 8+2 color depth with Dolby Vision
- Memory: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
- Hard Drive: SSD (1TB Solid State Drive, PCIe-NVME OPAL2.0 M.2)
- Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB
- Optical Drive: None
- Camera: Infrared (IR) Camera Supports Facial Recognition through Windows Hello
- Connectivity: Intel 9560 802.11AC (2 x 2) & Bluetooth 5.0
- Input: Backlit Internal Keyboard Integrated Fingerprint Reader
- Battery: 4 cell Li-ion 80Whr
- Chassis: Black
- PortsSlots: 2 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1, 1 always on), 2 x USB-C Thunderbolt 3, 4-in-1 card reader, HDMI 2.0, Network extension, Combo audio / mic
- Dimensions: 14.24” x 9.67” x .74” / 361.8 x 245.7 x 18.7 (mm)
- Weight: Starting at 4.06 lbs (1.8 kg)
The ThinkPad X1 extreme is with no doubt the best cybersecurity laptop in the market. Given its combination of quality features, the ThinkPad can handle demanding course tasks and serve for longer.
On Amazon, the product retails at an approximate amount of $2,100. Among the reasons why we selected this as the best laptop for cybersecurity students 2020, is the 15.6-inch 4k display which offers a more appealing visual output and accommodates tons of tabs.
This laptop also features a super-fast processor that guarantees excellent performance on virtual labs. The 1 TB SSD on this laptop provides optimal operation and a vast space for your projects.
For its specs, this is a more affordable laptop for virtualization compared to equally gifted counterparts. The powerful Intel i7 processor offers a big 9mb cache size which boosts the instruction execution speed.
The incredibly comfortable keyboard makes this a great laptop for cybersecurity professionals. This is because it gives it does not cause strain to your fingers when in use hence allowing for long sessions of use.
The only disadvantage with the laptop is the battery life, which is shorter than average.
- Screen Size 14 inches
- Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080
- RAM 16 GB
- Chipset Brand intel
- Wireless Type 802.11ac
- Other Technical Details
- Brand Name HP
- Item model number EliteBook x360 1040
- Item Weight 5 pounds
- Package Dimensions 18 x 14 x 4 inches
- Processor Count 4
- Computer Memory Type DDR3 SDRAM
- Flash Memory Size 250 GB (SSD)
- Batteries 1 9V batteries required. (included)
The best cybersecurity laptop just got better with the introduction of HP EliteBook x360 1040 G5 2-in-1. This laptop has a lot of excellent features, and its current market price is $2,349 at Amazon.
This review would be biased without mentioning the HP EliteBook X360. Featuring a 14-inch screen and an HD resolution, the X360 is bound to offer an appealing visual output.
Its balance of a strong Core i7 performance, excellent battery life, a comfortable keyboard, reliable speakers and sleek design with an exterior aluminium chassis make this a worthy contender for the best laptop for cybersecurity students.
The EliteBook x360 comes with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Even better, this laptop comes with impressive audio and long-lasting battery which make for quality entertainment. On average, the battery can run for up to nine hours with heavy internet usage and standard brightness.
Also, the elegant keyboard makes it a go-to alternative among cybersecurity professionals. The elegantly designed keyboard provides a smooth typing experience supplemented with satisfying backlighting.
- Display: 13.3-inch (diagonal)
- Processor: 1.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz, with 128MB of eDRAM
- Graphics and Video Support: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645
- Charging and Expansion: Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible)
- Weight: 3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)
- Release Date: 5/21/2019
- Battery Up to 10 hours wireless
- Touch Bar/ID Touch Bar and Touch ID
- Storage 128GB or 256GB SSD
- Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion battery required. (included)
MacBook’s are among the best laptop’s money can buy. A testament of their quality is the MacBook Air. This is a 2018 model with tons of fantastic features.
The laptop is slimmer and lighter, thus an ideal addition to your already weighted backpack. Also, this laptop is powered by the Intel Core i5 processor and features a 3.9 GHz turbo boost thus offering for faster operation. This is evident with its SSD read speeds of up to 3.2 GB/s.
What ranks this among the best laptops for cybersecurity, however, is the Intel UHD Graphics, a RAM of up to 16GB, a 13.3-inch display screen, backlit keyboard, and expandable storage of up to 1.5TB.
Additionally, the Retina display makes the MacBook Air a brilliant laptop for cybersecurity. This is because it allows for long durations of use without causing strain on your eyes. The 13-inch model is fitted with a 128MB embedded DRAM which accelerates graphic tasks and helps create amazing graphics.
- RAM Memory: 16GB DDR3 Memory
- Hard Drive: 256GB SSD Boot + 1TB HDD
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-Bit English
- Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS LED-Backlit Display
- Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U (beat i7-7500U) Quad Core Processor (1.6GHz up to 3.4 GHz, 6MB Cache)
- Optical Drive: DVD-RW
- Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 X HDMI, 1 X RJ-45, 1 X VGA
- Video: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 Up to 2 GB GDDR5
- Audio: Two Built-in Stereo Speakers
- Multimedia Card Slot: SD Card Reader
- Ethernet: 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN
- Wireless Connectivity: 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1
- webcam: HD Webcam
- Battery: 6-Cell
- Dimensions(inches): 1.2″ H x 15″ W x 10.2″ D
- Weight: 5.27 Lbs
A fixed budget should not be a limiting factor to get the best laptop for cybersecurity. With the Acer Aspire E15, which retails for approximately, $600 you can enjoy amazing features capable of a demanding cybersecurity course.
Among the features of this laptop include an 8th Generation Intel i5 processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256-2TB SSD. As such, this laptop can operate efficiently on virtual labs and handle a ton of programs without overheating.
The laptop has an NVIDIA graphic card with a 2GB video memory that makes it boot and open applications at lightning-fast speeds.
The laptop also features a 15.6″ full HD display which consumes less power and yields better resolutions.
At full charge and heavy internet surfing, the battery can last for up to 13 hours. Even better, the laptop has quality sound and an HD webcam which makes it an ideal laptop for entertainment and video editing.
- Operating System: Genuine Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64 bit
- Processor: Intel i7-8650U Quad-Core (1.9GHz – 4.2GHz, 8MB Cache)
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
- Display: 14″ FHD (1920×1080) IPS
- Graphics: Intel UHD 620
- Storage: 512GB Solid State Drive (PCIe-NVMe)
- Wireless: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265, Wi-Fi 2×2 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1, M.2 card
- Keyboard: Backlit, 6-row, Spill-resistant, Multimedia Fn Keys
- Fingerprint Reader: Yes
- Mouse: TouchPad and TrackPoint
- Webcam: HD 720p with ThinkShutter camera privacy, fixed focus
- Ports: Two USB 3.1 Gen 1 (one Always On)
- Audio: HD Audio, Realtek ALC3287 codec/stereo speakers,
- Battery: Integrated Li-Ion 57Wh adapter
- Power Supply: 65 Watt USB-C
- Weight: 2.9 lbs
- Dimensions: 13.03″ x 8.93″ x 0.73″
With its specs, this is a laptop worthy of the ‘premium, tag. This laptop has excellent features suitable for security professionals such as a powerful Intel i7 processor, 32GB RAM, and storage of 128GB SSD – 1 TB HDD.
What makes this a great option is the 8 MB cache which offers a decent instruction execution speed. Additionally, the laptop features a backlit spill-proof keyboard which is ideal for a student’s life.
What makes this rank among the best laptops for virtualization is the 512MB SSD which gives faster access speeds without heating up regularly.
- ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 Thin and Portable Laptop,
- Computer Memory Size 16 GB RAM
- Intel Core i7-8565U
- CPU Model Manufacturer Intel
- CPU Speed 4.6 GHz 4.5 GHz
- Display Resolution Maximum 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Screen Size 17.3 inches
- Hard Disk Size: 256GB SSD+1TB
- Item Dimensions 16.20 x 10.60 x 0.80 inches
- Item Weight 4.85 pounds
- Operating System Windows 10 Home
- Processor Count 4
- Wireless Communication
Asus Vivo Book is the best ASUS laptop for cybersecurity students. Owing to its sleek, thin, and lightweight design, this is an excellent choice for portability.
Additionally, the 17.3-inch display makes a great, laptop for cybersecurity professionals as you can run multiple tabs when working on projects.
Additionally, the Vivo book features a powerful 8th Gen i7 Processor which offers faster processor speed. The 16GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD+1TB HDD offer enough space to operate demanding programs and codes without freezing off your laptop.
To add icing on the cake, this computer features a powerful NVIDIA graphic card which is essential for gaming and design.
The elegantly designed keyboard allows you to continue typing even in dark rooms; thanks to the backlight capability.
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8750H Processor
- RAM: 16GB 2666 MegaHertz DDR4 up to 32GB
- CPU Model Manufacturer Intel
- CPU Speed 3.9 GHz 4.5 GHz
- Display Resolution Maximum 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Screen Size 15.6 inches
- Hard Disk Size: 256 GB (SSD) Boot + 1 TB
- Item Dimensions 10.16 x 14.90 x 0.89 inches
- Item Weight 5.57 pounds
- Operating System Windows 10 Home
- Processor Count 6
- Wireless Communication Standard 802.11a/b/g/n
The dell laptop is an affordable laptop equipped with amazing specifications that suits a cyber-security professional.
Among the key features of this laptop include a 256 GB boot SSD and an additional 1 TB HDD. With this amount of space, you can efficiently run applications and operate on virtual labs without freezing off your pc.
Even better, this laptop features an 8th generation core i7 Intel processor which offers speeds ranging from 3.9 to 4.5 GHz. Also, this is among the best laptops for virtualization, with a sizable 15.6″ display.
Even better, this laptop is slim and stylish, thus makes for easy portability. Finally, this laptop is fitted with a 16 GB DDR4 RAM which offers fast data transfer and power-saving hence making this the best budget laptop for cybersecurity.
- Display 15-inch Retina Display with True Tone
- Processor 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz
- Battery Up to 10 hours wireless web
- Touch Bar/ID Touch Bar and Touch ID
- Storage 256GB or 512GB SSD
- Weight 4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)
- 16GB RAM
Most cybersecurity professionals prefer Mac OS X to Windows OS because of the performance and functionality.
The15″ MacBook Pro features 16GB RAM which is suitable for running graphics applications. A faster processor that handles high capacity programs easily and a higher capacity HDD for faster operation.
This laptop is powered by a 2.2GHz Intel Core i9 processor with a turbo boost and higher capacity operations as compared to intel core i7 pcs. The retina display provides a color productive visual output that is needed for quality graphics.
What makes this an excellent laptop for cybersecurity students is the 10-hr battery life which ensures that a student can tackle projects without worrying about power. Also, the keyboard is backlit to help you work in dimly lit areas.
The 10 Best-Sellers Laptops on Amazon For 2020
But first, let’s understand the meaning of cybersecurity…
Cybersecurity, popularly known as information technology security refers to the art of protecting the computer’s hardware and software from unauthorized access.
How to Pick the Best Laptop for Cyber Security Students in 2020
A good laptop is crucial for an easy time in cybersecurity. Among the features to consider to select the best laptop for cybersecurity include:
When working on a project, you will continuously move to and from the library. As such, when selecting a laptop for students, ensure that it fits in your bag and doesn’t add excess weight to your backpack.
Typically, the ideal laptop weight should range from 1.8 kg down.
For a smooth experience and focus on your projects, you need a laptop that can keep the charge for continuous use of up to five hours. This allows you to work from the area you are most comfortable and realize the most efficiency.
A sound processor is the backbone of a cybersecurity laptop. Besides providing fast clock rates, processors ensure a high transmission speed which is excellent for managing virtual labs.
When working with a tight student budget, go for a laptop that is reasonably priced and offers a decent number of features. However, give more importance to the processor, storage type and RAM as this dictates the overall experience with a cybersecurity course.
As a student, you want a laptop that can be used under multiple conditions and for entertainment. For this, go for a laptop with a backlit keyboard, extra graphics options and a quality sound and display, thus giving you immersive gaming and watching experience.
RAM- DDR3 vs DDR4
When working on demanding virtual labs and writing cumbersome code, you need a robust short-term memory (RAM). When selecting RAM, you will come across DDR3 and DDR4 options.
To start with, DDR4 operates at lower voltages than DDR3, thus spend a lower amount of power. Also, DDR4 offers faster speeds than its DDR3 alternative, thus enabling quicker data transfer.
However, laptops with the DDR4 RAM are expensive thus may be burdensome to the student on a fixed budget.
Storage type and size- SSD vs Hybrid drive vs HHD
When selecting a storage space for a laptop for cybersecurity, speed is more critical than space. As such, an SSD is a go-to option. Besides clocking the fastest access time of the three disk types, an SSD runs programs quicker thus can manage huge apps for cybersecurity.
Also, SSDs wear down at a slower rate than HDD’s and hybrid drives as it has no moving parts.
Hybrid drives, on the other hand, are an infusion of HDDs and SSDs. The SSD portion serves as “cache” thus speeds up instruction execution speeds. Additionally, the SSD aids in the reboot thus speeds up the start-up process regardless of the apps.
It is also crucial to note that if a part of a hybrid drive fails, the entire device seizes to work. Also, data retrieval is harder as compared to the pricier SSD or less priced HDD.
Overall, an SSD is an excellent option if you have a sufficient budget.
I would recommend that you go for a 4k laptop if your wallet allows it. Besides offering a better visual output, UHD monitors allow you to work with more tabs while retaining a quality resolution.
Intel i7 vs Intel i9
Generally, a higher figure implies that the chip bears more power. Unlike intel i7, which is limited to six cores and 12 threads, intel i9 supports up to 18 cores and 36 threads.
As such, Intel i9 promises a bigger cache size thus gives faster instruction execution speeds. Additionally, intel i9 offers faster processor speeds owing to turbo boosts and hyperthreading technologies.
The downside, however, is that intel i9 runs on a higher power than intel i7 hence spikes your electric bills.
Refurbished laptop vs new laptop
Overall, refurbished laptops are better than new laptops. For one, refurbished laptops operate at the same level and have undergone stricter testing than new laptops.
What makes a refurbished set the best laptop for a student, however, is the lower cost which ensures that you enjoy quality services without parting with your last coin.
The above factors are considered in our shortlisting of the best laptops for cybersecurity suitable for hackers, IT professionals or security administrators.
Frequently asked questions
How much memory is needed for running VMware?
Since virtual machines contain a different OS, altogether, we recommend allocating at least 2GB of RAM for a single virtual lab. As such, the best laptops for virtualization should have a big RAM space and a decent processor.
What laptops do hackers use?
As a cybersecurity student, you will have to wear the hat of a white hat hacker to understand how security systems are breached, and how to defend systems from attacks.
The HP pavilion 15 is among the laptops which are often used by hackers. For a complete review, see our 10 Best Laptops for Hacking [Pentesting] 2020.
A good laptop for cybersecurity is essential for success in a cybersecurity course. As such, a good laptop should come with decent RAM, a quality processor and fast storage.
The laptops included in this guide not only check the above requirements but also offer quality specs for gaming and graphics. As such, they are great for entertainment and skill development when you are off your cybersecurity duties.
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