Best Laptops for Kali Linux (updated April 2022)

Publish Date: January 20, 2022

Best Laptops for Kali Linux

Are you a pen-testing enthusiast, security researcher, forensic analyst or a student who is just starting up learning Kali Linux? You should know that Kali Linux is a powerful Debian-based Linux distribution which is mainly used by penetration testers, security researchers, hackers, forensics analysts etc. If you are searching for a laptop for the same purpose, you have landed on the correct page.

In this article, I will discuss about minimum and recommended hardware specifications that are needed to run Kali Linux and I will also cover a few laptop models that are most suitable to run Kali Linux.

Minimum System Requirements for Kali

The minimum requirements for installing Kali Linux may vary depending on what you would like to install and your use case. Below are the minimum requirements that are needed to run Kali Linux:

  • Processor: 32 or 64-bit CPU (single core) with 2.0GHz speed
  • Memory: 128MB
  • Storage: 2GB
  • Graphics: HD graphics and monitor
  • Internet: [Optional] Broadband connection

Please note that these are the bare-minimum requirements that your machine should have in order to be able to run Kali Linux. If you’re interested in running Kali Linux with default Xfce4 full desktop environment, please checkout the recommended system requirements coming up next.

Recommended System Requirements for Kali

Below are the recommended hardware requirements that your system should be to be able to run Kali Linux with default Xfce4 desktop environment:

  • Processor: 32 or 64-bit (dual core) CPU with 2.0GHz speed or higher [Intel Core i5 or equivalent preferred]
  • Memory: 2GB [8GB preferred]
  • Storage: 20GB [SSD preferred]
  • Graphics: HD graphics and monitor
  • Internet: [Optional] Broadband connection

Please note that recommended requirements do not mean you will be able to use all the penetration testing tools with their best potential. There are a lot of tools in Kali that are resource intensive (such as BurpSuite, Metasploit etc.) which will obviously perform better if your system resources are above the recommended specifications.

Multitasking is another factor that you should definitely consider since Kali Linux will run various tools and services in background while you will be conducting your hacking sessions. Kali Linux is designed to run over a wide range of environment and hardware. You can install Kali Linux on single board computers (Raspberry Pi), ARM processor architecture (32/64-bit), Mobiles (Kali NetHunter), Docker containers, WSL containers, Virtual machines, USB stick (Live Boot).

Tip: The stronger and faster your system’s hardware is, the better your hacking experience with Kali Linux will be.

Recommended Laptops for Kali Linux

Apple MacBook Pro – Z11C000E4/Z11B000EM

This 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro is powered by the M1 chip – featuring the 8 core CPU (4 high-performance cores and 4 high-efficiency cores) and 8 core GPU to offer an incredible and unmatched performance. An advanced 16-core Neural engine for more machine learning power in your favorite apps. It is a power-house with longest-ever battery life of up to 20 hours.

Apple MacBookPro 13

Specifications
  • Processor: Apple M1 Chip (3.2 GHz) – An ARM-based chip designed by Apple using cutting-edge 5nm technology
  • Memory: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Storage: 512 GB PCIe-based onboard SSD
  • Display: 13.3″ Retina display with True Tone and native resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels (227 ppi)
  • Graphics Card: Apple M1 (8 cores)
  • Battery: Built-in 58.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery with up to 20 hours long battery backup
  • Weight: 3.0 pounds (1.4 kg)
Additional Features
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless networking
  • Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
  • Full-size English backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 61W USB-C power adapter
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for: Charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps), USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
PROS
  • Top-notch Apple hardware specifications
  • 16-core neural engine for advanced machine learning
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless networking
  • Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
  • 20 hours long battery backup
CONS
  • Expensive
  • No Ethernet port
  • Not customizable by user

Lenovo Legion 5i Pro

Lenovo Legion 5i Pro is not a good-looking laptop but it is quite impressive for what it offers under the hood. It is powered by 11th Gen Intel 8-Core i7-11800H processor coupled with 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB Solid state drive. It also features a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card with 4GB GDDR6 graphics memory and a 16″ QHD (2560 x 1600) IPS 165Hz Anti-glare display.

Lenovo Legion 5i

Specifications
  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H 8-core processor (Base clock: 2.3GHz, Turbo-boost: 4.6GHz, 24MB smart-cache)
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Display: 16″ QHD (2560 x 1600 pixels) IPS 165Hz Anti-glare display
  • Graphics Card: Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 4GB GDDR6
  • Battery: Up to 7.2 hours battery backup
  • Weight: 5.07 pounds (2.29 kg)
Additional Features
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless networking
  • Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
  • RGB backlit keyboard
  • 720p HD webcam with Privacy shutter
  • Stereo speakers with Nahimic audio
  • 32GB MicroSD card
  • 1 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x USB-C, 4 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x Ethernet RJ-45, 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
PROS
  • Top-notch hardware specifications
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce graphics card
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless networking
  • Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
  • 7 hours long battery backup
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Bulky design

ASUS TUF Dash F15

The all new Asus TUF Dash F15 is a powerful Windows 10 gaming laptop with a super slim chassis. The latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU make gaming smooth on up to a blazing fast high refresh-rate display. It is highly configurable so recommended for tech-geeks who like to upgrade hardware specifications in laptops.

ASUS TUF Dash 15

Specifications
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-11370H processor (12M Cache, up to 4.8GHz)
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Display: 15.6″ IPS FHD (1920×1080) 144Hz display with adaptive sync
  • Graphics Card: Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6
  • Battery: Up to 16.6 hours battery backup
  • Weight: 4.41 pounds (2.0 kg)
Additional Features
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless networking
  • Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
  • 1 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x USB-C, 4 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x Ethernet RJ-45, 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
PROS
  • Ultra-thin (0.8″) and light-weight
  • Easy to upgrade and customize
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce graphics
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless networking
  • Military-grade tough design
CONS
  • No webcam
  • Low battery backup
  • No numeric keypad

Acer Predator Helios 300

The Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-54 is powered up with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor featuring 8 cores and 16 threads to divide and conquer any task, giving you power, speed, and intelligent processing when you need it most. The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 series graphics card is powered by award-winning Ampere architecture, and boasts new Ray Tracing cores, Tensor cores, and streaming multiprocessors for realistic graphics. The incredibly fast 144Hz refresh rate will keep up with your beautiful graphics. PredatorSense is the ultimate tool to let you control and customize your laptop, from overclocking to fan speed to game profiles and more.

Acer Predator Helios 300

Specifications
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-11800H processor 4.6 GHz (8-cores, 16-threads)
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Display: 15.6″ IPS FHD (1920×1080) 144Hz display
  • Graphics Card: Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours battery backup
  • Weight: 5.07 pounds (2.29 kgs)
Additional Features
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Alexa show mode
  • AeroBlade 3D fan for excellent cooling
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless networking
  • Bluetooth 5.1 wireless technology
PROS
  • Amazon-certified with built-in Alexa
  • Top-notch hardware specifications
  • Easy to upgrade and customize
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless networking
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Low battery backup
  • Awful audio

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1

The mighty Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1 has everything you need to take control of power. It is equipped with 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD, a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti graphics card, and a beautiful 17.3″ FHD display. It is a beutifully designed laptop which also offers a plenty of upgrade options for RAM and SSD storage.

Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1

Specifications
  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H 4.6 GHz (8-cores, 16-threads, 24MB Intel smart-cache)
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4 RAM (3200MHz)
  • Storage: 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Display: 17.3″ LED-backlit IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution (144Hz refresh rate and 16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Graphics Card: Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (4GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM)
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours battery backup
  • Weight: 5.95 pounds (2.69 kgs)
Additional Features
  • Windows 11
  • Alexa show mode
  • Acer CoolBoost technology for excellent cooling
  • Killer DoubleShot Pro Ethernet E2600 and Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 for wired and wireless networking
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (DisplayPort), 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Power-off charging), HDMI 2.1 with HDCP support, Headphone/Speaker/Line-out Jack, Giga Ethernet (RJ-45)
  • Dedicated keyboard button for NitroSense UI to instantly visualize your PC’s component temperature, fan speed, loading performance, and much more
PROS
  • Windows 11
  • Amazon-certified with built-in Alexa
  • Top-notch hardware specifications
  • Easy to upgrade and customize
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics
  • Killer DoubleShot Pro
CONS
  • Expensive

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 is similar to the Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1 but with a lower specifications and comes under a $800 budget.

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5

Specifications
  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H 4.5 GHz
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 RAM (2933MHz)
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Display: 15.6″ LED-backlit IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution (144Hz refresh rate and 16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Graphics Card: Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (4GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM)
  • Battery: Up to 11 hours battery backup
  • Weight: 5.07 pounds (2.29 kgs)
Additional Features
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Killer DoubleShot Pro Ethernet E2600 and Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 for wired and wireless networking
  • Acer CoolBoost technology for excellent cooling
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) for wireless networking
  • Dedicated keyboard button for NitroSense UI to instantly visualize your PC’s component temperature, fan speed, loading performance, and much more
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Power-off Charging), HDMI 2.0 with HDCP support, Headphone, Speaker, Line-out Jack, Ethernet (RJ-45)
PROS
  • Budget friendly
  • Easy to upgrade
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics
  • Killer DoubleShot Pro
CONS
  • Slower processor
  • Low out-of-box Memory and SSD storage

Final Verdict

Honestly speaking, there is nothing like best in technology. Everything that you buy today will eventually become outdated pretty soon. The laptops mentioned in this article are running latest technical hardware till date and these laptops will run Kali Linux smoothly and you will never feel any slowness or lag. With that being said, here is the final verdict:

  • If you’re not much into hardware customization and budget is not a problem, you should definitely purchase Apple MacBook Pro. You will not regret spending money on it.
  • If you’re looking for a laptop with a solid build and military-grade toughness and can live without webcam, you can choose ASUS TUF Dash F15. It offers a plenty of upgrade options for RAM, SSD and Hard disk.
  • If you’re a tech-geek who love upgrading the hardware, you should definitely go with Acer Nitro 5 AN517-54-79L1. It also offers the upgrade options for RAM, SSD and Hard disk.
  • If you love upgrading the hardware and your budget is under $800, you can purchase Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 laptop. It comes with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM but you can upgrade the RAM and SSD later on.


Microsoft Certified | Cisco Certified

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