Hackers are often portrayed as malicious, faceless, hooded silhouettes with mad computer skills and always operating monster computers. Although the above is a stereotype accepted widely, it is insulting and inconsiderate to think of white hat hackers as malicious.
However, a quality laptop for hacking and mad computer skills is indeed essential for hackers.
Unlike standard laptops, the best laptops for a hacking call for quality graphics, a big RAM, high processor power, and a reliable battery. With quality specs for a hacking laptop, you can:
- Run virtual machines with ease.
- Efficiently go about cracking passwords.
- Smoothly intrude networks.
- Handle penetration testing.
In this guide, we discuss the specs for a good laptop for hacking, coding, and the best options at your disposal. It is vital to note that the laptops featured in this article can handle vast amounts of data while operating efficiently.
Who is a hacker?
A hacker is a person that exploits computer systems or private networks to find breaches. The use of this information is what differentiates a white-hat and a black-hat hacker.
A white-hat hacker finds solutions to curb noted data breaches. Black hats (the kind you often see in movies) exploit these breaches for personal gain.
The 10 Best Hacking Laptops for 2020 (Reviews):
As you progress in your hacking, you will need to run heavy software, operate on virtual machines, and type tons of code. You will be slow in executing commands with the wrong computer and frequent a repair shop for damaged hardware.
Here are the decent tested laptops for hacking that promise quality service
- Processor: Latest 7th Generation Intel Core i7 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
- Graphics card: Latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- Screen: 15.6 Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display
- Keyboard: Red Backlit
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 Memory & 256GB SSD
- HDD: 256GB SSD
- Battery life: Up to 7-hours
True to its name, the Acer predator Helios 300 is a beast laptop for hacking and gaming. Besides its efficiency in multitasking, this is a favorite for hackers as it is less prone to heating up.
For its features, this is among the best-priced laptops for hacking, retailing at an approximate cost of 950$ on Amazon. Among the critical elements of this laptop include a 16GB DDR4 RAM, which offers fast access to data and limits the power usage.
Additionally, the predator is fitted with a 256 GB SSD, which offers faster access time than HHD. Even better, the SSD is less prone to damage as it does not comprise movable parts as those of hard disk drives.
What makes this our best hacking laptop is the 7th Generation Intel i7 CPU with speeds of 2.8GHz. Since the computer features a turbo boost, it reaches up to 3.8 GHz, ideal for heavy software.
With a 1080p resolution, 3ms response time, and a 144Hz refresh rate, this laptop is ideal for gaming and offers an excellent display for viewing code. Unlike standard laptops, the Acer Predator Helios features a 15.6″ screen. This is enough to display multiple tabs, which is essential for coding.
The red-backlit keyboard allows for use in dimly lit rooms, thus an ideal option for convenience. This laptop offers a battery life of up to 7 hours, which is enough for writing codes and practicing your skills.
Overall, this is an excellent laptop for hacking as it offers quality processor speed, a clear view, and fast-access storage for running heavy software and operating on virtual spaces.
MSI GV62 8RD-200 Specifications:
- Processor: New Intel 8th Gen Core i5-8300H 2.3 – 4.0GHz
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050Ti 4G GDDR5
- Screen Display: 15.6″ FHD EDP IPS-Level
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 32GB
- Storage: New Intel Optane 16GB + 1TB (5400RPM)
The MSI GV62 8RD is undoubtedly the best laptop for hacking under $1000. Like the alpha predator, this laptop has a 15.5″ full HD display, which allows you to write your code comfortably.
Even better, the screen to this model features an NTSC display technology, which provides a quality color balance ideal for gaming and programming.
What makes this a quality laptop for hacking is the 16GB Intel Optane memory and a 1TB Hard drive disk. With these, you have enough space to install apps and run virtual machines, and improved app loading time.
Like many hacking laptops for programming, this model includes an 8GB DDR4RAM, which allows for faster loading and command execution. The PC also comes with an 8th generation core i5 processor with 2.4 GHz and 4.0 GHz speeds.
The laptop is fitted with six heat pipes and two fans, ensuring that it does not overheat when handling massive programs.
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8565U that can be boosted to Up to 4.6GHz
- Graphics: Intel 620 UHD graphics
- Screen display: 14 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Multi-Touch Convertible Display
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 Memory
- Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Battery life: Up to 12 Hours
The Acer spin 3 is among the best hacking laptops for those seeking an infusion of style and function. Featuring a 14″ Full HD with IPS control, you can access quality graphics that few laptops can rival.
Even better, the 360-degree rotation tablet mode and stylus ensure a quality operation for graphics and photo editing. For boosted security, the Acer Spin 3 convertible laptop features a fingerprint reader.
The specs that make this rank among the best laptops for hacking include the 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. Unlike typical SSD chips, however, the spin 3 features a PCIe NVMe SSD, which provides faster data access and cooler operation.
The 8th Generation Intel i7 allows for running on virtual spaces without lag, thus boosts your skill development.
- Processor: Intel 6-Core i7-8750H 9MB cache, 2.20 GHz up to 4.10 GHz
- Screen display: 15.6-inches FHD IPS 1080p
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
- Memory: 1 6GB 2400 MHz DDR4 (Maximum Memory Capacity 32GB)
- Storage: 1TB HDD + 8GB SSD
- Keyboard: Backlit
- Battery life: 4-5 hours
Among the features that comprise the best laptop for hacking and gaming, are quality graphics. Besides allowing you to run on virtual spaces, quality graphics are essential for various hacking tactics, including initiating brute force attacks.
The Dell Alienware R4 offers quality graphics with a 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, ideal for virtual spaces. Even better, this laptop has an 8GB VRAM, thus a great addition to a hacking life.
This laptop also has a 15″ full HD RAM, which allows for a quality view of various tabs when coding.
The Intel i7 6-core processor offers quality processing speeds of 2.20 GHz up to 4.10 GHz. This is a quality processor speed for running heavy software and operating on virtual labs. Also, the processor features a 9mb cache, which boosts the instruction execution speed.
Interestingly, this laptop is a 1080p matte panel that delivers vivid colors and plenty of brightness. The screen offers buttery-smooth frame rates. Best of all, the display can produce 119 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is enough for hacking but low gaming.
What makes this an excellent hacking laptop is the 16 GB DDR4 RAM, which is expandable to 32GB. In addition to the RAM, this laptop has a sizable 1TB HDD and an 8GB SSD boot drive, which allows for faster startups regardless of the apps installed.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H (up to 3.9GHz)
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
- Screen display: 17.3- inch refresh rate 144Hz IPS-Type Display; Slim 5mm Bezel and 3ms response time
- Memory: 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM
- Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD
- Battery life: 3hours 20 minutes
With a full screen of 17.3″, the ROG Strix SCAR II is the best laptop for hacking. Owing to the sizable display, you can view multiple tabs on the screen at a decent resolution. Even better, the monitor to this laptop has a decent refresh rate of 144Hz and a 3ms response time, which is ideal for gaming.
Featuring a 6-core Intel i7-8750H processor, this laptop offers quality speeds for running virtual machines and data recovery apps.
What makes this among the best laptops for hacking and gaming is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card, which is ideal for immersive gaming experience and vast experience in virtual labs.
For the comfortable use of several virtual spaces, the laptop comes with a 16 GB DDR4 RAM. The laptop is fitted with a 256GB PCle SSD and a 1TB hard drive disk to manage heavy apps.
The hybrid disk ensures quality storage space and fast operation regardless of the apps installed on the laptop.
Among the reasons we considered this among the best laptops for hacking is the HyperCool thermal system featuring two 12V fans. Additionally, the keyboard features a ROG over stroke technology, which withstands continuous use for coding without giving out.
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U 1.60 GHz with a Max Turbo 3.40 GHz, four cores eight threads, 6MB SmartCache
- Memory: 16GB DDR4 RAM
- Storage: Toshiba 256B PCIe NVMe 2242 M.2 SSD
- Display: 14-Inch HD (1366×768) – supports 4k resolution
- Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 Nvidia MX150
- Battery life: 17 hours
The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is the meeting point of form and function. Owing to its 14″ antiglare screen, this ranks among the best gaming laptops from Lenovo.
Even better, this laptop is fitted with an integrated Intel UHD graphics card, which ensures quality gaming and virtualization.
What makes this a contender for the best laptops for hacking is the 8th Generation Intel Quad Core i5. Unlike standard Intel i5 laptops, the Lenovo ThinkPad offers a processor speed of 1.60 GHz and 3.40 GHz with the max turbo. Even better, this processor features four cores and a hyperthreading technology with eight threads.
The processor offers a 6MB Smart Cache, which provides a quality command execution speed to top it all.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 features a 256GB PCle NVMe SSD, which offers faster data access regarding the storage space. Additionally, this laptop 16 GB DDR4 RAM, which is adequate for running VMware.
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Up to 3.4GHz
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 Graphics with 2GB of discrete video memory
- Screen display: 15.6″ Full HD 1080p widescreen LED-lit IPS Display
- Memory: 8GB Dual Channel Memory
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Battery life: Up to 15-hours
The Acer Aspire E 15 is the best budget laptop for hacking. Featuring a 15.6″ screen, the laptop allows for simultaneous use of multiple tabs while offering a quality resolution.
Even better, this laptop features a 4-core 8th generation Intel i5 processor, which offers processor speeds of 1.6 GHz. Thanks to the turbo boost technology, the speeds for this laptop can extend to 3.4 GHz. As such, this is a decent laptop for running heavy software and operating efficiently in virtual spaces.
Even better, this computer features a DDR3 RAM, which offers fast relay speeds and command execution. It is also crucial to note that you can upgrade this computer to a DDR3 RAM of 32GB, thus getting a comfortable use with VMware.
What stands out with the Acer Inspire E 15, however, is the graphics card. The Acer Inspire 15 comes fitted with an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 RAM. This offers a crisp experience with games and virtualizations, thus making this among the best low-price laptops for pen-testing and gaming.
It can only reproduce 62.3 percent of the sRGB color gamut and an excellent maximum brightness of 227 nits. Given its price, however, this is an excellent resolution. It would be unfair to expect this laptop to beat top-dollar hacking laptops in the display with the exceptional features.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-8265u – 6M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz
- Graphics: 8 GB RAM Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Display: 15.6-inch FHD 4 Way NanoEdge bezel Display offering a stunning 87% screen-to-body ratio
- Memory: 8GB DDR4 RAM
- Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD
- Battery life: 8 hours
The Asus Vivobook S15 S512 is another affordable laptop for hacking and programming. Coming at a price south of $100, the Vivobook packs tons of features that make it easy to operate on virtual spaces.
To begin with, the laptop features a 15.6″ screen with nano bezel and an 87% screen to body ratio. This laptop ensures that you have a vast space to use multiple tabs without compromising the resolution.
Even better, this laptop features a 4-core Intel i5 processor with speeds of up to 3.9 GHz. Additionally, the PC features an 8GB graphic card RAM, four times the recommended size for running VMware.
In addition to the 8GB DDR4 RAM, this laptop has a decent cache space of 6mb. The cache space helps increase the instruction execution speed, thus creating a quality hacking experience.
The Ergolift keyboard design provides for an improves typing position, thus ensuring your comfort when typing long codes. Overall, although the laptop’s display is not that stunning, it is ideal for an affordable hacking laptop.
- Processor: Intel Dual Core AMD A6-9225 2.6 GHz boost up to 3.0 GHz, AMD Radeon R4
- Graphics: Coprocessor AMD Radeon R4
- RAM: 4GB upgraded to 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Display: 15.6 Inch1366 x 768 HD resolution
- Storage: 1TB HDD
- Battery life: 3 hours
While this laptop doesn’t come with an SSD, you can upgrade the HDD version to SSD and boost the laptop’s overall performance.
The laptop comes with a RAM of 4GB, which is decent for running a single virtual machine. However, you can upgrade the RAM to 8GB for multitasking on virtual spaces and running heavy software.
Additionally, the AMD Dual-Core A6-9225 is an accelerated processor with a speed of 2.6 GHz. Together with the Integrated AMD Radeon R4 Graphics, this processor speed boosts the performance of this laptop, thus yielding a quality gaming experience.
However, the resolution is not as excellent compared to the laptops so far reviewed. Typically, the resolution is a 768p HD resolution. Although the colors may not be stunning, the images are clear enough; thus, they do not limit your coding capacity.
Even better, this laptop offers many ports, including Ethernet Port, 2 x USB 3.0, a single USB 2.0, and 1 HDMI port. Overall, this is a decent hacking laptop under $600.
- Processor: 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
- Screen display: 13-inch Brilliant Retina Display (2560-by-1600)
- Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
- Storage: Ultrafast SSD
- Battery life: Up to 10 hours
This MacBook is undoubtedly one of the high-end laptops you can get in the market. Although it lies on the pricier end of the spectrum, this laptop’s performance is worth the price.
Featuring a processor speed of 1.4-GHz (quad-core), the 8th-gen Core i5 processor delivers incredible speeds for multitasking and handling multiple data. Combined with the 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, this processor offers a quality gaming and programming experience.
For video editing, this laptop performs faster than most laptops. It uses an impressive 14 minutes and 42 seconds to transcode as a 4K clip to 1080p. Even better, MacBook offers the fastest SSDs in a laptop.
The display of the 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina Display is unique among the laptops industries. It delivers 163% of the color gamut and a brightness of 441 nits.
Relevant Specifications for Hacking Laptops
Hacking laptops are subject to numerous simultaneous tasks to find loopholes in systems where hackers can exploit them. Among the features which define the best laptop for hacking include:
- Random-access memory (RAM): Considering the hacking intensity, a minimum of 8 GB RAM is required. Hacking may require running multiple virtual machines, which require a lot of RAM.
And as the saying goes, “bigger is better,” a RAM of 16GB or 32GB is more realistic for expanded hacking activities.
RAM acts as a store for data before it is processed. Typically, it is a dynamic memory chip that can be written and rewritten quickly, but it is volatile, i.e., it only holds data only when powered.
RAM allows you to work with data needed to run programs and open files. When a computer loads a program or opens files, it opens up data in the RAM.
Still, the operating system uses RAM. While running applications, the random-access memory pulls data from long-term storage on your hard drive and short-term storage in RAM quickly for smoother operation.
- Processor/CPU: Running pen-testing tools or carrying out hacking requires fast CPU speeds of at least 1GHz.
Typically, serious hacking requires more advanced hacking tools and emulators, and you’ll need to use them simultaneously. Thus, stocking up on cores will get the job done. With advanced technology, a six-core processor will run several virtual machines.
- HDD/storage: Storage is not a very important aspect of hacking. Nevertheless, a 250GB HDD storage or more is vital.
Advice from hackers is that you should get an SSD over an HDD because they have a quicker access time, better performance, no noise, no heat generation, and less power.
- Graphics Card/GPU: The bare minimum is 2 GB. However, 4GB will give you express performance, especially if you plan to use your laptop for brute force hacking, which requires speed and accuracy.
Get the recent GPUs such as the 10X0 GTX series with as much vRAM & CUDA cores. GPU makes hacking easier because it packs hundreds or even thousands of tiny cores, which work differently from those of the CPU.
They make it possible for you to see images on your monitor. They do so by converting data into a signal your monitor can understand.
The smoothness and general quality of images, therefore, depends on the graphics card. Remember, modern graphic cards contain random access memory, which is separate from laptops RAM. Essentially, the popular form is the DDR3 and GDDR5 SDRAM, which ranges from 512 MB to 8 GB. With the best graphic cards, hackers get a clear resolution.
- Network Adaptor: As a rule of thumb, hackers never leave their traces behind. Also, to boost your speeds and acquire more skills, a stable internet connection is necessary.
As such, getting an adapter with the broadest range and compatibility with your laptop is essential. Getting a Wi-Fi card that employs an AC wireless protocol can help you in your hacking as it is vital for getting into WEP secured networks/testing Wi-Fi for vulnerabilities.
Frequently asked questions
How much RAM do you need for hacking?
We recommend a minimum RAM space of 8GB if you aim to run multiple virtual machines. However, a 16 GB to 32 GB RAM is ideal for faster boots and running various data recovery apps.
While at this, ensure to invest in a laptop with expandable RAM, thus getting a better service.
What OS do hackers use?
Kali Linux is the most common OS for hackers. Kali Linux provides hackers with a variety of tools, including Unix software packages.
Additionally, Linux is less prone to freezing; thus, it rarely requires you to reboot the laptop, thus producing quality, ethical hacking experience. Even better, kali Linux provides fast network backup and offers a rich library of commands that can be used for net penetration.
Also, unlike Windows, Linux comes fully packed with drivers essential for a hacker.
A hacker is only as good as the tools at their disposal. When choosing a hacking laptop, it is essential to consider the processor speed, RAM space, and the storage type.
This guide has tackled the best laptops for hacking under various price ranges, thus ensuring that you get quality service for your allocated budget.
When it comes to software, OSX or Linux is better over windows. Linux is flexible, and its open-source can be tailored to your OS to operate as you want. Hacker laptop set up is vital for any hacker.
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Last update on 2021-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API