Reviews

The 5 Best Laptops For Hacking

Thanks to the portability that they offer, laptops are a very popular choice amongst hackers. However, they also tend to be more expensive and harder to pick compared to a traditional desktop. After all, there are various pros and cons to each choice which is something that can make a massive difference in user experience. 

So many things to consider; display, processor, keyboard, design, GPU, battery, etc. That’s why we made this list to help you out. Let’s get right into it!

Specifications to Keep in Mind

Before you make your pick, keep some of these specifications in mind. It’s the easiest way to find out what’s worth your money and what doesn’t!

  • OS: While Windows is the most popular OS, many hackers prefer various distros of Linux. Thankfully, that’s something that you can install on pretty much every modern laptop anyway
  • CPU: While you don’t really need something very powerful for hacking, we’d definitely recommend at least a quad-core i5 or Ryzen 5. Anything less than that will slow you down
  • GPU: Doesn’t matter for hacking. But, if you’re interested in gaming or any form of 3D rendering
  • RAM: The sweet spot for most people is 8GB. And while more RAM doesn’t make a laptop faster, not having enough will slow it down to a halt
  • Storage: We highly recommend picking something that uses an SSD for its OS and the apps. It makes a world of difference in performance
  • Battery life: Rather than looking at the overall size of the battery, look at how much it actually lasts through the reviews. After all, some laptops are more power-hungry than others
  • Display and portability: A bigger screen may feel nicer to look at – but don’t forget that it also increases the size and weight of the laptop

Our Top Picks for Hacking

While moving forward, keep in mind that by receiving something positive you almost always get another negative as well. It’s a sort of unwritten law for laptops. 

Bigger displays reduce portability, more power reduces battery life, more RAM and storage increase pricing, etc. Now that this is out of the way, let us check out some of the best laptops for hacking!

1: Asus Vivobook S15 S512

Our Budget Pick

For less than $700, the Vivobook offers all the basic specs that you’ll need as a hacker or a consumer. Hard to go wrong with it. 

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U
  • GPU: Integrated graphics
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6 LCD IPS display at 1920×1080
  • Battery: Around 5 hours with casual usage
  • Weight: 3.97 pounds

It offers decent battery life, thin bezels, an SSD, a  beautiful and thin design, while it’s also lightweight. 

One of the few downsides is that it doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card which means that you can’t game with it. But, at this price point, we obviously can’t ask for the moon. 

Pros: 

  1. Cheap
  2. Lightweight
  3. Decent battery life 
  4. Thin bezels
  5. Slim

Cons: 

  1. No dedicated GPU

2: Acer Aspire E15

Great Battery Life

If you prioritize battery life over things like gaming and thin bezels, then the Aspire E15 is quite possibly your best bet. 

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U
  • GPU: GeForce MX150
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6 LCD IPS display at 1920×1080
  • Battery: 6-7 hours with normal usage
  • Weight: 5.27 pounds

Do keep in mind that while the MX150 is a dedicated card, it’s not the best choice for gaming in 2020. Far from it. There is no doubt that you’ll get better performance compared to most iGPUs. But, we seriously wouldn’t recommend it to gamers. 

Other than that, you get a mid-range processor, great battery life, an SSD along with 8 gigs of RAM, and a simplistic look in exchange for a mid-range price tag. 

The laptop is a little bit on the heavy side. But we’ve definitely seen worse. 

Pros: 

  1. Great battery life
  2. Good value
  3. Simplistic look/design (Could be a con for those who prefer flashy looks)
  4. Good balance between portability and usability

Cons: 

  1. The dedicated GPU is not that good for gaming

3: Dell Inspiron 15 7567

Good for Gaming on a Budget

If you’re a gamer, then just by spending a tiny bit more than what the Aspire E15 is asking for, you can get the Inspiron 15 which is all-around a superior option for gaming. However, it’s also a lot heavier. 

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ
  • GPU: GTX 1050 Ti
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6 LCD IPS display at 1920×1080
  • Battery: About 6 hours with average usage
  • Weight: 6.61

The 1050 Ti may be a bit outdated now, but it’s still suitable for 720P or even 1080P gaming – depending on what you play, how many FPS you need, and the graphical settings as well. 

Other than that, there’s not much to brag about. Mediocre RAM, storage, and battery life is pretty decent as well. 

If there’s one downside, then that’s definitely going to be the weight and thickness of the device – which is something to be expected from gaming laptops.

Pros: 

  1. Acceptable for gaming
  2. Decent battery life
  3. Aggressive design (Could be a con for some)
  4. Lots of ports compared to other options

Cons: 

  1. Heavy

4: Acer Predator Helios 300

Best Overall

The Helios 300 is the most balanced option in this list. All things considered, it offers a little bit of everything and a great value as well!

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9759H
  • GPU: GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB Nvme SSD
  • Display: 15.6 LCD IPS at 1920×1080 144Hz
  • Battery: 68 Wh, up to 6 hours
  • Weight: 5 pounds

The 1660 Ti is one of the most recent mid-rangers that came out and it should be able to handle pretty much everything in 1080P. The high-refresh-rate of the screen also helps a lot in delivering not only a better gaming experience, but also smoother animations in general. 

And let us not forget that you’re also getting one of the most powerful processors along with 16 gigs of RAM and decent battery life. For just a bit more than $1000, this is no doubt one of the sweetest deals. 

There are not any downsides that we know of. But, we could definitely use a bit more storage with something so powerful. 

Pros: 

  1. Great specs at a great price
  2. Good for gaming
  3. Good for processor-demanding tasks
  4. Decent battery life
  5. High refresh rate display

Cons: 

  1. The design looks a bit weird/squarish
  2. We could use more storage with something this powerful

5: Alienware AW17R4

Our High-end Pick

Those of you who are willing to spend a lot in order to get the best that’s out there will probably want to consider something like this Alienware right here. 

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 7th gen
  • GPU: GTX 1070
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Display: 17.3 LCD IPS at 1920×1080
  • Battery: Anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours
  • Weight: 9.7 pounds

Dell is notoriously known for overpricing their Alienware laptops. But you can’t deny that they are very powerful indeed. The 1070 along with the Core i7 will easily be able to handle everything in 1080P.

However, if you’re spending that much on a laptop, we’d recommend going for the GTX 1080 version instead. But, we highly doubt that it’ll go back in stock. 

If there’s one downside with this laptop, then it’s definitely going to be its portability. Or to be more precise, its lack of it. At almost 10 pounds with a 17.3 display with its thick bezels, you’re gonna struggle a lot to carry this around over long distances. 

Pros: 

  1. Powerful processor
  2. Powerful graphics card
  3. Plenty of RAM and storage out of the box
  4. Big display

Cons: 

  1. Bad battery life
  2. Heavy and generally harder to carry around
  3. Expensive
  4. Thick bezels

Wrapping Up

If all of this is a bit too much to process at once, here’s everything that we’ve mentioned above as quickly as possible: 

  1. Asus Vivobook S15 S512: Our budget pick. It’s cheap and lightweight with decent battery life – but it doesn’t come with a dedicated GPU which makes it bad for gaming
  2. Acer Aspire E15: Mid-range choice with great battery life and while it has a dedicated GPU, it’s still bad for gaming
  3. Dell Inspiron 15 7567: A decent budget choice for gaming as well as hacking – but it’s a bit heavier compared to the competition
  4. Acer Predator Helios 300: One of the balanced options. It offers a little bit of everything with almost no downsides – if you make a small exception for the weird design
  5. Alienware AW17R4: Our high-end pick. It offers everything but it also comes with a big display, thick bezels, and a battery that doesn’t last for long while it’s also heavy. So, generally not the most portable option in this list

That’s all for now. We hope that this article helped you out to pick something that’s suitable for your tastes. Because, in the end, it’s all about weighing pros and cons. 

If you’ve got any queries, feel free to let us know about them in the comments section down below!

About the author

Charlie Noon

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