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Best Laptops for Kali Linux in 2020 & Buying Guide

by Sean Hamilton

Looking for a laptop for Kali Linux? If yes, you are in the right place. Kali Linux is basically a Linux distribution for advanced Penetration Testing and Security Auditing. It is packed with several hundred tools to perform information security tasks such as Security research, Computer Forensics, Penetration Testing, and Reverse Engineering, etc. It has been particularly tailored to fulfill the needs of Penetration Testing professionals. More important thing is to select a perfect laptop that supports Kali Linux and Penetration Testing. Every laptop can’t handle these specific applications. You require a machine with some particular specs to handle them.

Best Laptops for Kali Linux

1. ASUS TUF Thin & Light FX504 Gaming Laptop

Display: ASUS TUF FX504 has 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 full HD display. Red backlit keyboard allows you to work in darkness without difficulty.

Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H 8th Gen processor delivers super-fast multitasking for Kali Linux applications.

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card ensures fast streaming and gaming.

RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM brings lag-free and smooth performance.

Memory: 256GB PCIe SSD and 1TB Hard disk drive provides you with ample space for bulky content.

Weight: This thin profile gaming machine weighs only 5.07 lbs and easy in portability.

Durability: The smooth and durable keyboard has a lifespan of 20 million keystrokes. Anti-dust technology with Dual fans brings more durability to it.

Wireless Connectivity: AC 9260 WiFi technology with MU-MIMO ensures fast WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Battery: The battery lasts for 4 hours if you stream videos.

Ports: It has HDMI, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, headphone and Ethernet ports.


Both have the same 15.6-inch display in 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. Both laptops have the same processor, RAM, and graphics card. But speakers are more powerful in FX504 as compared to FX570. Similarly, ASUS TUF FX504 has 2 USB 3.0 ports while FX570 has only one. Both machines have the same wireless technology, but FX570 has upgraded Bluetooth. In the same way, FX570 has 10 hours battery life that is enough for streaming and gaming. Overall, FX570 is a budget machine for users. But FX504 is a high-performance laptop to handle all intense applications.


Pros: ASUS TUF FX504 has a powerful processor, RAM, and graphics card. It is a perfect choice for Kali Linux and other intense applications. It has a brighter display, reliable keyboard, and massive storage.
Cons: FX504 has average battery life. The lack of optical drive disappoints users. It doesn’t have enough ports for gamers.

2. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Display: 15.6” FHD IPS display with 15.6-inch pixels resolution delivers brighter and realistic content. sRGB colour gamut ensures life-like colours in the content.

Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7 handles live streaming from Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and other sites. It is perfect for super-fast multitasking. All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan Cooling technology keeps it cooled down.

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 ensures lag-free 3D gaming and streaming.

RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM handles fast loading, shut down and startup.

Memory: 256GB SSD brings massive room for faster storage of content.

Battery: Battery lifespan is around 7 hours while you play videos.

Wireless Connectivity: 802.11ac technology ensures super-fast and uninterrupted WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Acer Predator Helios 300 VS ASUS ROG Strix

Both machines have identical display size and resolution. However, Acer Predator has Wide View Angle technology for the same quality content from any angle. Predator has 8GB/16GB DDR4 RAM while ROG Strix has 4GB/8GB DDR4 RAM. Both machines have the same dedicated Graphics card. Predator is heavy in portability as compared to ROG Strix. Both laptops have the same WiFi connectivity technology. However, Predator has an upgraded Bluetooth technology. Predator has a stunning battery performance as compared to ROG Strix. But ROG Strix has 3 USB 3.0 slots and Predator has only one. However, ROG Strix is available at a lower price as compared to Predator.


Pros: Acer Predator has a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, good RAM, and graphics card. It has brighter IPS display with Wide View Angle technology. Predator has vast storage space for Kali Linux applications and good battery life.
Cons: It lacks connectivity ports for the disappointment of gamers.

3. Lenovo S145 15.6-inch Laptop

Display: 15.6” full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels display brings crystal clear content.

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 ensures smooth streaming and gaming of all mid-range and some intense games.

Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor delivers super fast and power-efficient multitasking.

RAM: 12GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM handles fast loading, shut down and startup.

Memory: 256GB SSD is super-fast for saving bulky applications like Kali Linux and others.

Wireless Technology: It has the latest Wireless technology for uninterrupted and faster WiFi and Bluetooth connection.

Sound: Dolby Audio technology produces the realistic and louder sound.

Weight: It weighs only 4.08 pounds (1.85 kg) and easy to carry.

Mode: You can use it as a tablet and as a laptop as it is foldable up to 180 degrees.

Battery: 2-Cell Lithium-ion Battery stays up for two hours only.

Lenovo S145 VS 330S

Both machines have the same display resolution, but Lenovo S145 has a bigger display (15.6-inch). Both machines have the same (1TB HDD), but 330S has a powerful RAM and processor. Audio technology in both machines is the same. Both machines have the same Wireless technology. However, 330S has an upgraded graphics card. S145 is heavier in portability than 330S. Both machines come with Windows 10 Home Basic. 330S has more battery life as compared to S145. However, it has only 1 USB 3.0 slot whereas; S145 has 2 USB 3.0 ports. Both have a 1-year warranty, but Lenovo S145 is a blessing in disguise for budget-conscious users.


Pros: Lenovo S145 is a good option for Kali Linux and other applications. It has a stunning display and lifelike sound. S145 has a fast storage option. The latest processor delivers smooth and super-fast performance. It has massive storage.
Cons: It isn’t good for 3D games. The battery life is average. Furthermore, it doesn’t have a backlit keyboard.

4. Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Processor: Intel Xeon E3-1505M Quad-Core v5 processor with vPro technology delivers super-fast performance.

Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro M2000M handles all multitasking and heavy software.

RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM ensures lag-free performance in intense applications like Kali Linux.

Display: 15.6” full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display delivers a clearer and brighter view of content.

Keyboard: The backlit keyboard brings ease to work in dim light or in complete darkness.

Memory: 256GB Solid State Drive provides a panoramic room for lots of content.

Security: Advanced Fingerprint Reader brings the utmost security of content and also helps in online shopping.

Connectivity Ports: It has all important connectivity ports like 4 USB 3.0 ports, RJ-45 for gamers, HDMI port, Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports, and others.

Lenovo ThinkPad P50 VS ThinkPad P52

Both machines have the same display type and resolution. But ThinkPad P50 has an average brightness as compared to P52. Both laptops have Wide View Angle technology. In battery performance, P50 leads with 9.7 hours whereas; P52 has 8.9 hours battery. Both have the same SSD and processor, but P52 has an upgraded RAM. P50 has one year warranty while P52 has a 3-year warranty. Both have a notebook-sized, but a responsive keyboard. P52 is lightweight for easy portability. In short, P50 is a budget laptop and P52 is pricier due to some extensive features. Both are good for intense applications and gaming.

Bottom Line

Pros: P50 is a budget-friendly option for Kali Linux users. It has a powerful processor, fast RAM, and graphics card. The laptop has a stunning display and louder sound. Its’ battery is also long-lasting.
Cons: It is a weighty machine. Furthermore, it has no Optical drive.

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor handles the heaviest applications.

Display: 10″ PixelSense display delivers crystal-clear view.

RAM: 16GB RAM is enough for lag-free performance.

Mode: 2-in-1 mode allows you to use in tablet or studio mode.

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 ensures super-fast gaming experience.

Memory: 256GB SSD and 1TB hard disk drive are enough to store massive applications and games.

Battery: The battery lasts for 13.5 hours.

Weight: It weighs only 1.7 pounds.

Surface Pen: Surface Pen ensures drawing or writing with ease as you do naturally.

Wireless Connectivity: Latest Bluetooth and WiFi technology bring uninterrupted and faster connectivity.

Surface Pro 6 VS iPad Pro

Surface Pro 6 has smaller (12.3″) display as compared to iPad Pro that has 12.9″ display. Both machines have the same resolution. Surface Pro has a powerful Core i7 processor whereas; iPad Pro has mid-range A12X Bionic chip. Surface Pro is a lightweight device while iPad Pro is a bit heavy for portability. Both of them have one USB 3.0 port and there are no high-speed data transfer ports. Overall, Surface Pro 6 is a good option for budget-conscious people. It has an exceptional display, stunning performance and memory.


Pros: Surface Pro 6 is a sleeker, faster and reliable machine for Kali Linux. It has an exceptional processor, display, stunning performance, and memory. The RAM, stylish outlook, compatibility with Surface Pen makes it unbeatable.
Cons: It lacks native resolution and anti-glare matte look. Users will find no USB Type-C in it. Furthermore, the product doesn’t include a keyboard.

6. ASUS ZenBook 13

Size: Ultra-slim and sleeker 13.3″ ZenBook is easy in portability. NanoEdge bezel makes it easy to hold in hand.

Display: Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display delivers crystal clear visuals. The anti-glare display delivers brighter display in an outdoor environment.

Processor: 8th Gen Intel i5-8265U brings smoother and faster performance for midrange multitasking.

RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 RAM ensures lag-free performance.

Keyboard: Backlit keyboard helps work in dim light or in darkness with great comfort.

Memory: 512GB PCIe M.2 Solid State Drive ensures fast storage.

Wireless Connectivity: 802.11ac technology brings super-fast WiFi connectivity.

Security: Latest Fingerprint scanner ensures the security of data and online shopping.

Weight: It weighs only 2.5 lbs due to the outer aluminium cover.

Battery: It has a good battery life

Asus ZenBook 13 VS 14

Both ZenBook machines have identical display size. ZenBook 13 has a slimmer and sleeker design. It has full HD wide-view display whereas; ZenBook 14 has a 4K display. Both of them have the same i7 processor and graphics card. ZenBook 13 has a higher battery life than ZenBook 14. The Hard disk drive, SSD storage, and RAM are the same in both machines. Overall, ZenBook 13 is a budget-friendly machine for Kali Linux. ZenBook 14 has better performance, but it is a bit pricey.


Pros: ZenBook 13 is a slimmer and sleeker laptop. It has a great processor, graphics card and display. It contains advanced connectivity ports like USB Type-C, WiFi, HDMI, and WiFi 802.11ac. Massive storage makes it worthwhile.
Cons: Only 8GB RAM is a less competent feature. It is enough for Kali Linux applications but insufficient for intense games. Moreover, you can’t upgrade RAM.

Buying Guide

Selecting a suitable laptop for Kali Linux is a hard nut to crack. To handle such a big application, you require a powerful processor, RAM, and big memory. Here, I am going to list some important factors. Keep them in mind while selecting a laptop for Kali Linux to avoid the annoying situation.


Usually, Intel Core i5 is recommended, but the people with more purchasing power can select Intel Core i7 laptop. It is powerful to handle Kali Linux and Penetration Testing very well.


RAM plays a vital role in handling Kali Linux and Penetration Testing. So, select at least 8GB RAM for it. If you have more affordability, select 12GB/16GB RAM for smooth working experience.


Kali Linux is a combination of more than 600 tools for Penetration Testing.  It requires a vast memory. Select a laptop with at least 500GB memory. If it has more memory, it is better.

Graphics Card

You require at least an integrated graphics card to handle Kali Linux applications. If you have more budget, get a dedicated graphics card for the long run.

In short, the products in the list are appropriate for Kali Linux and for Penetration Testing tools. I have compiled this list according to your required specifications. You can select the one that suits your budget and requirements. If you want to run only Kali Linux, Select a machine with Intel Core i5. If you want to use some other intense applications, select Intel Core i7 laptop. The choice is yours.


Which processor is the best for Kali Linux?

Kali Linux requires at least 1Ghz processor with 512MB RAM.

Does a MacBook support Kali Linux?

Yes, it supports.

Which MacBook model is the best for Kali Linux?

MacBook Air 2018 is the best for it.

How much RAM is required for Kali Linux applications?

Minimum 8GB RAM is good for this application, but 16GB is ideal if you have more budget.

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