Contributed by George Mack, Content Marketing Manager, Check Point Software.

Cyber security is a growing field. With a talent shortage that translates to over 3 million open jobs and a salary that inspires awe, it’s no wonder that there’s an increasing interest in this career path.

For someone interested in pursuing this field, investing in the best laptop for cyber security is crucial – as it will allow you to run security tools that require significant hardware and software resources.

What is the best laptop for cyber security?

The cyber security landscape changes fast. As a result, it’s best to pick a laptop that will remain powerful and relevant through the years to come. Processor speed, storage, memory, and battery life are just some of the things you need to consider. With so many devices on the market, it’s difficult to know where to start.

Your laptop needs to be able to run at least three different Operating Systems: Windows, Apple, and Linux – an unusual requirement for an employee. Most corporate laptops are Windows, and some companies use Apple OS, so you will need to know how to patch and navigate both. Kali Linux is an operating system and security toolbox that all security professionals need to know how to boot and run.

Students and security professionals will be running memory and CPU-intensive applications, so a powerful CPU is necessary. With the rise of Large Language model Artificial Intelligence tools, security professionals are downloading AI models from and running these tools on their laptops, which consume a significant amount of CPU resources.

You will also need an HDMI connection to connect to a large monitor for team presentations, as well as a CD-ROM W/R drive so you can boot to a new OS and burn large files to external media. A USB-C connection is necessary for high-speed connections to external hard drives and a wide range of devices that security professionals use. If you conduct research on the dark web, you will need the ability to run a VPN client and “dissolvable” Browser sessions to delete your browser session as you use TOR.

To help you decide on what to buy, we have curated a list of the best laptops for cyber security students and professionals in 2023. Whether you need a high-end expensive laptop for intensive security tasks or a cheaper option for smaller tasks, our list has you covered.

There are many laptops on the market that are recommended as the best for cyber security students and professionals. However, below are top picks based on an analysis of their features, pros, and cons.

1. ThinkPad T16 Intel (16”)

For the longest time, ThinkPads were the traditional choice for cyber security aficionados, but the secret is now out and the price is climbing. The ThinkPad T16 Intel is Lenovo’s flagship laptop belonging to their renowned ThinkPad series. This series is known for its exceptional performance and features, as well as a sleek and ergonomic design. In addition, the ThinkPad T16 boasts several robust security features, including a biometric Power-On touch fingerprint reader and an optional FHD + IR camera that will detect if someone is viewing your screen over your shoulder. This laptop is an ideal choice for students and professionals who require a powerful yet secure device.

The starting price of this laptop is $1,187.

Processor: 12th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-1240P Processor (E-cores up to 3.30 GHz P-cores up to 4.40 GHz)

RAM: 16 GB DDR4-3200MHz (Soldered)

Storage: 1 TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 Performance TLC Opal

Operating system: Windows 11 Pro

2. HP ProBook 450 15.6 inch G9 Notebook PC Wolf Pro Security Edition

What makes this HP laptop stand out is the considerable number of features it offers. The HP ProBook 450 Laptop offers commercial-grade performance, robust durability within its sleek and compact design, and HP Wolf Security features. This laptop is fortified with preconfigured enterprise-level PC protection for small and medium sized businesses, in addition to HP Pure Sense for AI protection against never-before-seen attacks. For a combination of security and performance, you can’t go wrong with the HP ProBook 450.

The starting price of this laptop is $1,049.

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-1255U (up to 4.7 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 12 MB L3 cache, 10 cores, 12 threads)[6,7]

RAM: 16 GB DDR4-3200 MHz RAM (2 x 8 GB)

Storage: 1 TB PCIe® NVMe™ TLC SSD

Battery: HP Long Life 3-cell, 42 Wh Li-ion

Operating system: Windows 11 Pro

3. Dell Latitude 5330 Laptop

The Latitude 5330 is one of the more affordable options among the laptops listed here. It combines portability, power, and durability. It offers features such as ExpressResponse, which prioritizes your CPU to improve the performance of the applications you are running. And with the option to upgrade up to 16 GB DDR4 memory and storage up to 2TB, no cyber security task is too big.

The starting price of this laptop is $971.

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-1255U (up to 4.7 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 12 MB L3 cache, 10 cores, 12 threads)[6,7]

RAM: 16 GB DDR4-3200 MHz RAM (2 x 8 GB)

Storage: 1 TB PCIe® NVMe™ TLC SSD

Battery: HP Long Life 3-cell, 42 Wh Li-ion

Operating system: Windows 11 Pro

4. Asus Viviobook 17X (K3704)

Another option under $1,000 is the Asus Viviobook 17X (K3704). With a high-end 13th Gen Intel Core H-series processor, this laptop is on a league of its own when it comes to running system-heavy security tasks. It offers a stylish design with a versatile 180-degree hinge, physical webcam shield, and ASUS Antimicrobial Guard to keep your laptop hygienic.

The starting price of this laptop is $999.

Processor: Intel® Core™ i9-13900H Processor 2.6 GHz (24MB Cache, up to 5.4 GHz, 14 cores, 20 Threads)

RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SO-DIMM + 8GB DDR4 on board RAM

Storage: 1 TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 3.0 SSD

Battery: 50WHrs, 3S1P, 3-cell Li-ion

Operating system: Windows 11 Home

5. Apple MacBook Pro 16″ Laptop

The final option on our list is the MacBook Pro 16” Laptop. Apple’s MacOS system is powerful enough to run any cyber security task. The MacBook Pro has a 10-core CPU that makes it easy to run resource-heavy programs and other security tasks. In addition, this laptop has a battery life that lasts anywhere from 14-22 hours.

Processor: Apple M2 Pro

RAM: 16 GB

Storage: 1 TB SSD

Battery: Li-ion

Operating system: Mac OS

The starting price of this laptop is $2,699.

What are the general requirements needed for a laptop in cyber security?

If none of the laptop options above satisfy you, here are some general requirements you should look for when selecting a laptop for cyber security.

Memory and CPU: If you’re running virtual machines, aim for a laptop with at least 16 GB of memory and a CPU with 6 cores and 12 threads. If you’re engaging in any ethical hacking activities, prioritize a laptop with a higher core count, since it is likely you are going to be emulating some environment or launching a high number of small tasks.

Hard Drive: You should have at least 1 TB to store VMs.

Video cards: Video cards aren’t as much of a necessity unless you’re cracking hashes (or playing video games in your spare time).

Screen: You don’t need anything fantastic for a screen refresh – unless, again, you’re an avid video game player. A higher refresh rate (Hz) requires more battery usage, so 60 or 90Hz should be sufficient. A 16:10 screen for code review should be sufficient.

Battery life: The longer the battery life, the better. In general, 6-8 hours of battery life should be more than enough for portability purposes.


The best laptop for cyber security purposes depends on what you value the most. For example, when an enterprise decides to invest in a security solution, it’s usually best to fork out a little more money for an increase in performance and longevity. If that’s your mindset, then you can’t go wrong with either the HP or ThinkPad options listed above. If budget is a concern, then consider one of the lower end Dell Latitude laptops before upgrading to a more powerful device further into your career.

Finally, don’t forget to secure your laptop with antimalware and email protection. Consider a free antivirus tool from Check Point called