Best Laptop for Cyber Security Students

Cybersecurity is a vast and ever-changing field, but it’s a very important one for many different fields of study. Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student in the cybersecurity field, or you’re working professionally in this field, it’s important to have the right laptop with all your needs met.

A good laptop is as important as your shield in the cybersecurity world. The vast market out there can be overwhelming and it’s hard to identify which laptops are compatible with the software you use, but this article makes it easy for you.

Finding the best laptop for cybersecurity students can be hard. You need to take into account your budget, the type of computer that will work with the software you’ll be using, and whether you want a modular machine, or something more traditional. Is it better to choose Windows or Mac? These are all important questions that need answering before making a purchase – but don’t worry! We’ve done the research for you, and we’ll go through our top 10 choices in this post.

Laptops for Cybersecurity Students

As a cybersecurity student, you need a laptop that can handle demanding security software and keep pace with your studies. You also need a machine that’s portable enough to take to class and research on the go. Here are our picks for the best laptops for cybersecurity students:

1. Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops for cybersecurity students. It’s fast, lightweight, and has a great screen. The only downside is the battery life, but for most students, that won’t be a problem. The Dell XPS 13 is our top pick for cybersecurity students.


  • Eye-catching new design with LED function row, to-the-edges keyboard
  • Slim, light, and super-compact metal build
  • Brilliant 3.5K OLED touch display on our unit
  • Speedy overall performance with Core i7-1280P CPU


  • Short on ports, most notably a headset jack
  • “Invisible” touchpad can be overly sensitive to presses
  • Middling battery life for its class


Laptop ClassUltraportable
ProcessorIntel Core i7-1280P
RAM (as Tested)16 GB
Boot Drive TypeSSD
Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)512 GB
Screen Size13.4 inches
Native Display Resolution3456 by 2160
Touch ScreenYes
Panel TechnologyOLED
Variable Refresh SupportNone
Screen Refresh Rate60 Hz
Graphics ProcessorIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Wireless NetworkingBluetooth, Wi-Fi 6E
Dimensions (HWD)0.6 by 11.63 by 7.84 inches
Weight2.77 lbs
Operating SystemWindows 11
Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)8:06

Year in and year out, the XPS 13 is consistently one of our highest rated laptops, but not content to rest on its laurels, Dell undertook a forward-looking redesign of its flagship ultraportable. The result of this project, the XPS 13 Plus (starts at $1,299; $1,949 as tested), certainly looks the part. At just a glance, its edge-to-edge flush keyboard, LED function row, and seamless touchpad appear futuristic. The device is, simply, super-sweet eye candy.

Most of these elements work, but between a somewhat finicky touchpad and the removal of the headset jack, the XPS 13 Plus isn’t necessarily an improvement on all fronts. Still, its pricing for the base model is reasonable, given the unique super-slim build, and the Core i7 CPU and so-called “3.5K” OLED display in our model make for a well-performing beauty. The traditional XPS 13 (and some competing alternatives) still take our top spots and will continue to be sold separately, but this attempt at innovation is both intriguing and a qualified success.

2. Microsoft Surface Book 2

When it comes to the best laptops for cybersecurity students, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a great option. This laptop has a 15-inch screen and is packed with powerful features that make it ideal for students who need to be able to handle large amounts of data. The Surface Book 2 also has a detachable keyboard, making it easy to take with you on the go.


  • Premium alloy construction.
  • Elegant convertible design.
  • Sharp high-resolution touch display in new larger size.
  • Discrete Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics.
  • Very long battery life.
  • Multiple configuration options.
  • Xbox wireless controller receiver is integrated.


  • 16GB RAM maximum.
  • Surface Pen is an additional purchase.
  • Adding SSD storage is pricey.
  • Some finicky issues required troubleshooting in our tests.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 specs

Laptop ClassUltraportable
ProcessorIntel Core i5 or i7
RAM8GB or 16GB
Storage256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD
GraphicsIntel HD 620 or Nvidia GTX 1050 / GTX 1060
Screen13.5 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio, 3000 x 2000 or 15-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio, 3240 x 2160
Ports2 USB-A 3.1 ports, 1 USB-C port, headphone jack, Surface Connector, SD card reader
Camera1080p with Windows Hello, rear 1080p camera
Weight 13.5-inch model starts at 3.38 pounds, 15-inch model starts at 4.20 pounds
Dimensions12.13 x 9.14 x 0.90 inches (13.3-inch model) 12.13 x 9.87 x 0.90 inches (15-inch model)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
Battery lifeclaimed 17 hours for local video playback, but real-world is closer to 8 or 9 hours

Microsoft set the bar for the 2-in-1 market with the Surface Pro line, and in 2015, began to push the market further with the even more laptop-like Surface Book. After a year that included an iterative upgrade, the full-fledged sequel has arrived in the aptly named Surface Book 2 (the 15-inch model reviewed here starts at $2,499; $3,299 as tested). This beautifully designed machine can do it all, maintaining the signature ability to detach its screen from its keyboard while now acting as a legitimate gaming laptop and delivering near-workstation levels of performance. It’s very spendy as configured, but a swath of configuration options means you’re not locked in at the highest price.

With a new 15-inch screen size and a capable Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card inside, the Surface Book 2 makes a compelling case for itself as the premium mobile computer. It offers more versatility and features, faster performance, and longer battery life than its main competitor, the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro, and is a more fully realized professional’s PC than the Surface Pro. It easily follows in its predecessor’s footsteps earning our Editors’ Choice badge.

3. Lenovo Yoga 920

The Lenovo Yoga 920 is one of the best laptops for cybersecurity students. It’s a 2-in-1 laptop that can be used as a traditional laptop or converted into a tablet, making it perfect for those who want the best of both worlds. The Yoga 920 is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and has 16GB of RAM, making it more than capable of handling even the most demanding tasks. It also has a 512GB SSD, which ensures that all your data is stored securely and quickly accessible. And if that wasn’t enough, the Yoga 920 also comes with a fingerprint reader, so you can be sure that your data is always safe and secure.


  • Eighth-generation Intel Core i7 CPU aces benchmarks.
  • Stellar battery life.
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad.


  • Mini directional keys.
  • Speaker placement sometimes results in muffled sound.

Laptop ClassUltraportable
ProcessorIntel Core i7-8550U 4 x 1.8 – 4 GHz, Kaby Lake Refresh
Graphics adapterIntel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 400 MHz,
Memory7.9 GB  , DDR4 17-17-17-39
Display13.90 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 158 PPI, 10-point capacitive, native pen support, AU Optronics B139HAN03.0, IPS, glossy: yes
MainboardIntel Kaby Lake-U + iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
StorageSamsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB  , PCIe NVME
Weight1.372 kg ( = 48.4 oz / 3.02 pounds), Power Supply: 318 g ( = 11.22 oz / 0.7 pounds)

Since the 13.9-inch Yoga 920 features a larger display than its immediate competitors, it’s footprint is larger as well – to the tune of more than 15 percent when compared to the 13.3-inch XPS 13 2-in-1 with the InfinityEdge bezel design. At just under 14 mm, the Yoga is marginally thicker than the XPS 13 or the Spectre x360 with the Asus ZenBook Flip S coming in at a razor-thin 11 mm. The additional size translates to more weight as well, so the Yoga is also up to 250 g heavier than its consumer-oriented competition. The business convertible Dell Latitude 5289 has a much smaller 12.5-inch display, however, but is only one ounce lighter.

Smaller is better when it comes to tablet operation, so the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is a little easier to hold – at least in our opinion. Since the edges of the Yoga are fairly sharp, prolonged operation in tablet mode tends to get uncomfortable after a while. 

4. Apple MacBook Pro 13

If you’re a cybersecurity student, the Apple MacBook Pro 13 is one of the best laptops you can buy. It’s powerful, portable, and has all the features you need to stay secure while you’re online.

The MacBook Pro 13 is powered by a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor and has 8 GB of RAM. It also has a retina display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, so you’ll be able to see everything clearly as you work. And because it’s a MacBook, it comes with macOS Sierra pre-installed, which includes features like FileVault 2 encryption and Gatekeeper to help keep your computer safe from malware.

Plus, the battery life on the MacBook Pro 13 is fantastic. You’ll be able to get up to 10 hours of use out of it on a single charge, so you can easily work all day without having to worry about running out of power.


  • Performance tops M1 predecessor and Intel competitors
  • Tried-and-true design
  • Fantastic 22-hour battery life


  • Dated physical design
  • Lackluster 720p webcam and 2,560-by-1,600-pixel display
  • Supports just one external display
  • Touch Bar has its proponents, but feels like a design throwback


Laptop ClassUltraportable
ProcessorApple M2
RAM (as Tested)16 GB
Boot Drive TypeSSD
Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)1 TB
Screen Size13.3 inches
Native Display Resolution2560 by 1600
Touch ScreenNo
Panel TechnologyIPS
Screen Refresh Rate60 Hz
Graphics ProcessorApple M2
Wireless NetworkingBluetooth, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
Dimensions (HWD)0.61 by 12 by 8.4 inches
Weight3 lbs
Operating SystemApple macOS
Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)21:55

So if you’re looking for the best laptop for cybersecurity students, the Apple MacBook Pro 13 should definitely be at the top of your list.

5. HP Spectre x360 15

The HP Spectre x360 15 is one of the best laptops for cybersecurity students. It has a 15.6-inch display and a resolution of 1920×1080. It is powered by an Intel Core i7-8550U processor and has 8GB of RAM. It also has a 512GB SSD and comes with Windows 10 Pro.


  • Luxurious design
  • Stunning AMOLED 4K/UHD touch screen
  • Powerful six-core Intel CPU and Nvidia graphics as tested
  • Quality speakers
  • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad


  • Middling battery life
  • Stylus not included with every configuration
  • Just one USB Type-A port

HP SPECTRE X360 15 (2020) SPECS

Laptop ClassConvertible 2-in-1
ProcessorIntel Core i7-10750H
Processor Speed2.6 GHz
RAM (as Tested)16 GB
Boot Drive TypeSSD
Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)1 TB
Screen Size15.6 inches
Native Display Resolution3840 by 2160
Touch ScreenYes
Panel TechnologyOLED
Variable Refresh SupportNone
Screen Refresh Rate60 Hz
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (Max-Q)
Graphics Memory4 GB
Wireless Networking802.11ax, Bluetooth
Dimensions (HWD)0.79 by 14.17 by 8.91 inches
Weight4.23 lbs
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)7:47

HP’s flagship Spectre line has continually impressed us with its quality, style, and features. This latest iteration of its Spectre x360 15 is the best yet for this big convertible 2-in-1, which retains (and improves on) the charms of the 2019 model while being smaller and lighter. It’s also more powerful; our $1,849 review unit packs a six-core Intel Core i7 “Comet Lake” H-series processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX-class graphics, though it’s also available at $1,399 with a quad-core “Tiger Lake” chip if you don’t need all that oomph. Available with a stunning (and well-worthwhile) AMOLED 4K/UHD touch screen either way, the Spectre x360 15 is truly a first-class splurge. It earns our Editors’ Choice for being a large-screened convertible 2-in-1 without equal.

6. Asus ZenBook UX331UN

Asus ZenBook UX331UN is one of the best laptops for cybersecurity students. It has a 13.3-inch Full HD display and is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor. The laptop also comes with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.


  • Inexpensive.
  • Thin and light.
  • Nvidia GPU offers good graphics performance.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • quiet fans with demanding loads
  • decent battery life


  • Flimsy keyboard and touchpad.
  • no Thunderbolt 3 or full-size SD card-reader
  • gets a down-clocked version of the Nvidia MX150 chip
  • fan active all the time
  • runs hot with gaming and demanding loads
  • crappy VGA camera

Specs as reviewed

Asus Zenbook 13 UX331UN
Screen13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, non-touch, matte
ProcessorIntel Kaby Lake-R Core i5-8250U CPU
VideoIntel UHD 620 + Nvidia MX150 2 GB GDDR5
Memory8 GB DDR4 (soldered)
Storage512 GB SATA SSD (M.2 80 mm)
ConnectivityWireless AC (Intel Dual Band 8265), Bluetooth 4.1
Ports2x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C 3.1 gen 1, HDMI, microSD card-reader, headphone/mic jack
Battery50 Wh, 65W charger
OSWindows 10
Size310 mm or 12.20” (w) x 216 mm or 8.50” (d) x 13.9 mm or 0.54” (h)
Weight2.49 lbs (1.13 kg)+ .53 lbs (.24 kg) European charger and cables
Extrasbacklit keyboard, VGA webcam, stereo speakers

The UX331UN will be available with either Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U processors (both quad-core KabyLake-R low-voltage), 8 or 16 GB of DDR4 memory (soldered on the motherboard), with or without the Nvidia graphics, with M.2 SATA or M.2 NVMe storage, and with three screen options to choose from: matte and touch FHD panels, as well as an UHD IPS touchscreen.

The best buy in our opinion is the Core i5-8250U model with MX150 graphics, 16 GB of RAM, NVMe storage and the matte FHD IPS screen. Our test unit gets only 8 GB of RAM and SATA storage, but is otherwise identical to the ideal configuration, especially since the SSD can be replaced with a faster unit if wanted.

7. Acer Swift 3

There are many laptops on the market that are suitable for students of cybersecurity, but the Acer Swift 3 is one of the best. It’s a powerful and well-designed machine that will handle all of your coursework and research with ease.

The Swift 3 has a large 14-inch screen that’s perfect for working on long documents or watching training videos. It’s also lightweight and portable, so you can take it with you to class or the library. The keyboard is backlit, so you can type in low-light conditions, and the trackpad is large and responsive.


  • Outstanding battery life
  • Durable all-metal chassis
  • Thunderbolt 4 support


  • 16:9 display feels cramped
  • Webcam is below par


Laptop ClassUltraportable
ProcessorIntel Core i7-1165G7
Processor Speed2.8 GHz
RAM (as Tested)16 GB
Boot Drive TypeSSD
Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)512 GB
Screen Size14 inches
Native Display Resolution1,920 by 1,080
Touch ScreenNo
Panel TechnologyIPS
Variable Refresh SupportNone
Screen Refresh Rate60 Hz
Graphics ProcessorIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Wireless Networking802.11ax, Bluetooth
Dimensions (HWD)0.63 by 12.7 by 8.4 inches
Weight2.71 lbs
Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)16:47

The Acer Swift 3 is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, so it can handle demanding tasks like video editing and data analysis. The 256GB SSD provides plenty of storage space for your files, and the battery life is impressive at over 9 hours.

If you’re looking for a great laptop for your cybersecurity studies, the Acer Swift 3 should be at the top of your list.

8. Dell Inspiron 7000 2 in 1

Dell’s Inspiron 7000 2 in 1 is a great choice for cybersecurity students. It’s a powerful and versatile machine that can handle any task you throw at it. The Inspiron 7000 2 in 1 is also very affordable, making it a great value for your money.

The Dell Inspiron 7000 2 in 1 is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and has 8GB of RAM. It also features a large 15.6-inch touchscreen display, making it easy to use for all your computing needs. The Dell Inspiron 7000 2 in 1 also comes with a built-in webcam and microphone, so you can stay connected with friends and family while you’re studying.


  • Decent graphics performance from Intel Iris Xe
  • Thunderbolt 4 port and microSD card reader included
  • Keyboard includes number pad


  • Rather bulky, especially in tablet mode
  • Occasional fan noise
  • Awkward touchpad
  • Only one USB-C port

DELL INSPIRON 15 7000 2-IN-1 (7506) SPECS

Laptop ClassConvertible 2-in-1, Desktop Replacement
ProcessorIntel Core i5-1135G7
Processor Speed2.4 GHz
RAM (as Tested)8 GB
Boot Drive TypeSSD
Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)256 GB
Screen Size15.6 inches
Native Display Resolution1,920 by 1,080
Touch ScreenYes
Panel TechnologyIPS
Variable Refresh SupportNone
Screen Refresh Rate60 Hz
Graphics ProcessorIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Wireless NetworkingBluetooth, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
Dimensions (HWD)0.71 by 14.02 by 9.39 inches
Weight4.2 lbs
Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)10:10

The Dell Inspiron 7000 2 in 1 is the perfect choice for any student who wants a powerful and versatile laptop that won’t break the bank.

9. HP Elitebook x360 1030 G2

As a cybersecurity student, you need a laptop that can handle intense security software and large files. You also need a durable laptop that can withstand long hours of use. The HP Elitebook x360 1030 G2 is the perfect laptop for students like you. It has a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM, so it can handle even the most demanding security software. It also has a large 1 TB hard drive, so you can store all your important files securely. Plus, the HP Elitebook x360 1030 G2 is built to last, with a magnesium alloy chassis and an aluminum keyboard deck. So you can rest assured that your laptop will withstand the rigors of your studies.


  • Long battery life.
  • Intel Core i7 power.
  • Compact, convertible form factor.
  • Premium construction and design.
  • USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 port and USB 3.0 ports.
  • Windows Hello works with fingerprint reader and IR webcam.


  • 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM make it somewhat pricey.
  • Lacks on-board storage for Active Pen.
ProcessorIntel Core i5-7300U 2 x 2.6 – 3.5 GHz, Kaby Lake
Graphics adapterIntel HD Graphics 620, WHQL
Memory8 GB  , DDR4-2133 SDRAM, dual-channel
Display13.30 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 166 PPI, Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen, native pen support, CMN1374, IPS, touchscreen, glossy: yes
MainboardIntel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
StorageSandisk SD8TN8U-256G-1006, 256 GB  
, M.2 SSD, 210 GB free
Weight1.308 kg ( = 46.14 oz / 2.88 pounds), Power Supply: 393 g ( = 13.86 oz / 0.87 pounds)

The HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2 is quite slim at 14.9 mm. This is illustrated below in the size comparison chart. Looking at space needed to stand, the 13.3-inch devices are obviously at an advantage. If compared directly, however, the required space differs only by a few millimeters. The HP Spectre X360 13 occupies the least space and is the slimmest device at 13.7 mm. Our HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2 weighs 1308 grams and lies somewhere in the middle. The power supply adds another 400 grams.

10. ASUS Chromebook C433

ASUS Chromebook C433 is one of the best laptops for cybersecurity students. It’s lightweight and portable, making it easy to take with you to class or on the go. Plus, its military-grade durability means it can withstand the rigors of daily use. And with a battery life of up to 12 hours, you can keep working even when there’s no outlet to be found.

But it’s not just the physical features that make the ASUS Chromebook C433 ideal for cybersecurity students. It also comes equipped with a number of security features, including a fingerprint reader, an anti-glare display, and a backlit keyboard. Plus, it runs on Chrome OS, which is known for its security and stability. So you can rest assured knowing your data is safe when you’re using this laptop.


  • Includes a stylus
  • Includes multiple USB-C ports
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent performance


  • Clumsy touchpad
  • Glossy display is prone to glare
  • Disappointing battery life


Laptop ClassConvertible 2-in-1, Budget
ProcessorMediaTek Kompanio 820
Processor Speed2.2 GHz
RAM (as Tested)4 GB
Boot Drive TypeeMMC Flash Memory
Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)64 GB
Screen Size12 inches
Native Display Resolution1366 by 912
Touch ScreenYes
Panel TechnologyLCD
Variable Refresh SupportNone
Screen Refresh Rate60 Hz
Graphics ProcessorArm Mali-G57
Wireless Networking802.11ac, Bluetooth
Dimensions (HWD)0.7 by 10.6 by 8.5 inches
Weight2.5 lbs
Operating SystemChrome OS
Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)6:23

A 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook is an attractive option for those who can’t decide between a tablet or a laptop to do their daily internet browsing and email sorting. While we’ve seen some excellent premium convertible options, like the Acer Chromebook Spin 514, there are still plenty of quality models for budget shoppers as well. They include the Asus Chromebook Flip CM3 (starts at $329; $429 as tested). This sleek, budget-conscious 2-in-1 convertible laptop delivers performance so good, you might just forget you’re holding something that costs less than $500.

What are the features of a good laptop?

There are many laptops on the market that are marketed as being great for students in cybersecurity, but which one is the best? It really depends on what you need and want from a laptop. Below, we will go over some of the key features to look for in a good laptop for cybersecurity students.


When it comes to processors, you want something that is going to be fast and powerful. A lot of computation is involved in cybersecurity, so you want a processor that can handle those computations quickly and efficiently. Some good options include the Intel Core i5 or i7 processors.


Another important factor to consider is memory. You want a laptop with plenty of RAM so that it can handle all the processes involved in cybersecurity. Again, speed is important here. A minimum of 8GB of RAM is recommended, but more is always better.


You also need to consider storage when choosing a laptop for cybersecurity students. You will need space for all your program files, as well as any data files you may be working with. A solid state drive (SSD) is a good option for storage because it offers fast read and write speeds. A minimum of 256GB of storage space should be enough, but more is always better.


The display is another important factor to consider when choosing a laptop for cybersecurity students. You want a display that is large enough so that you can see everything you are working on, but not so large that it is cumbersome to carry around. A 15-inch display is a good option.

Battery Life:

Finally, you want to consider battery life when choosing a laptop for cybersecurity students. A laptop with a long battery life is important because you may not always have access to an outlet when you are working on your projects. A minimum of 8 hours of battery life is recommended.
So, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a laptop for cybersecurity students. Be sure to consider all of the factors listed above before making your final decision.


One of the top factors to consider is compatibility with the applications and software that security professionals often use.

Some of them can be password recovery applications or applications running virtual machines on the same system.

Important Specifications:

In addition, you should also pay attention to factors such as screen, battery life, RAM, and processor.

The minimum amount of RAM should be 4GB, and the battery should have a large capacity for you to work for many hours without interruption.


Is MacBook Air good for cyber security students?

The MacBook Air is one of the most secure devices available today. And as a cybersecurity expert, a fast laptop like the Macbook air would be a safe choice.

Is Mac or Windows better for cyber security?

Windows has a higher rate of attack by hackers. Meanwhile, MacOS is resistant to third-party viruses and several other influencing factors.

What laptop specs do I need for cyber security?

You should choose devices equipped with Intel Core i5 or i7. The processor speed should be between 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz. In particular, your option should have a large enough storage capacity to install heavy programs.

Why do security professionals use Linux?

Linux is an operating system that can evaluate vulnerabilities in network security. Linux provides many tools to analyze each attack and security breach.


There are a lot of laptops out there that claim to be the best for cybersecurity students, but it really depends on your specific needs and budget. We’ve put together a list of the best laptops for cybersecurity students, taking into account things like processing power, memory, storage, and portability. No matter what your budget is, you should be able to find a laptop on this list that will suit your needs. So, what are you waiting for? Start shopping for your new cybersecurity laptop today!

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