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Best Laptops for Cyber Security Students – Buying Guide

Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller – Tech Enthusiast & Security Expert – October 5th, 2022

best laptops for cyber security students in college

Fortunately, there are many possibilities for the best laptops for cyber security students. They are essential tools for anybody interested in cyber security.

A cheap laptop will only be luggage to carry and probably won’t be the safest for you, but is this the case? Since cybersecurity is a set of strategies, technologies, and procedures to prevent and deter illegal access. What purpose does your laptop have if you can’t keep up with and safeguard your workload?

A desktop computer often has greater power than a laptop. Even if desktop computers are inexpensive, you might try to avoid using one like most contemporary security researchers. Since laptops are portable, mobility is essential for security professionals who may need to travel to several locations to audit security systems. Then, laptop portability is an excellent incentive.

Keep reading the post to understand how the best laptops can help you excel at your cyber security learning. I have listed the best laptops for cyber security students just like you.

Best Laptops for Cyber Security Students – Buying Guide

Cyber Security Student Needs – What You Need to Know

what is cyber security

As a student studying cybersecurity, you will primarily get exposed to the principles of various cybersecurity risks and ethical hacking techniques. You will look for anything malware-related to detect, examine, and troubleshoot dangerous programs. The technical components of computer, network, and information system security get explored in more detail as part of cyber security study programs. You’ll discover how to monitor your systems and tackle dangers as they emerge.

The degree in cybersecurity doesn’t vary fundamentally from any other degree. Your educational institution will usually inform you of the prerequisite devices you may need; some even provide computers on loans for your use. Nevertheless, working on your PC while studying cybersecurity techniques will always be more comfortable. However, it may or may not be able to replace the computers provided by your institution, depending on your needs and finances.

I’m working on my cyber degree, so you’ll need a strong desktop computer and a laptop. Both can be helpful, saving you from traveling to the institution to use the appropriate lab equipment. You would want your gadget so that you could work whenever you wanted. As cybersecurity professionals or students, you must thus have laptops that satisfy your requirements in terms of specs.

Let’s start with the idea that learning cybersecurity doesn’t require a powerful laptop. For a profession in cyber security, you only need a quality laptop or computer where you can work. Any somewhat new laptop will aid in the learning of cyber security tools. Yes, any laptop will function, but I advise you to make sure it has the bare minimum of specs so you don’t become frustrated when doing a few tasks that might delay your learning experience or irritate you.

Best Laptops For Cyber Security Students – Top 5 Options

Here are my top recommendations for the best laptops for cyber security students to start your journey without worrying about upgrading too soon. So you may choose whichever of them best meets your needs and financial limitations.

1. HP Newest 17 Laptop Notebook

HP Newest 17 Laptop Notebook for cyber security students

Regarding comfort and innovation, HP consistently produces the most significant products as a market leader. And their HP 17 Laptop PC is made explicitly for several functions. It has a 17.3-inch diagonal 1920 x 1080 FHD IPS Anti-glare WLED-backlit Display for sharp visuals and pictures with the brilliant quality of 2 million pixels. All of your digital stuff gains a new depth because of this resolution.

It has a powerful Ryzen 7 5700U CPU with 8 Cores, 16 Threads, 8MB Cache, 1.8 GHz base clock, and a maximum boost speed of 4.3 GHz to aid your productivity and computer and cyber security-related tasks. It gives you the most high-efficiency power possible for all of your work, study, and entertainment needs throughout the day and makes multitasking simple.

The PC’s memory got increased to 16GB DDR4 SDRAM for improved high bandwidth switching between running programs with ease. The hard drive got replaced with a 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD for quick startup, plenty of storage, and quick data transmission. Additionally, you’ll have access to

It has Windows 11 preinstalled to provide you with a new OS experience, and when it comes to the keyboard, it has a lift-hinge that lifts the keyboard for more comfortable typing and an expanded click pad. The numeric keypad will be available to you as well. Its 3-cell, 41 Wh Li-ion battery, which can be used for up to 8 hours and 15 minutes and enables rapid battery charging (about 50% in 45 minutes), will keep you stress-free the entire day.

2. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 9th Gen

All ThinkPad computers go through more than 200 quality tests and get verified against 12 distinct military-grade specifications. This Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 laptop measures 14″ and is jam-packed with new features that improve technology, increase comfort, and improve user experience. Because of its incredibly thin and light chassis, you may use this laptop as a reliable one for a more extended period.

It has a bright, 16:10, narrow-bezel display with touch or non-touchscreen choices. By choosing the PrivacyGuard display panel, you guarantee that nobody else is looking at the screen.

Intel Iris provides unexpectedly strong visuals. Sufficient to compete with graphics cards at the basic level. You may also experience stunning color fidelity and wonderfully clear pictures thanks to the powerful Intel IrisTM X®e graphics card. However, the power-saving panel also protects your eyes by being energy-efficient, and TÜV Rheinland is certified for fewer blue light emissions.

It has 16GB of soldered memory that gets preinstalled along with 512GB of storage that is SSD M.2 2280 PCIe x4 NVMe Opal2 and can be expanded to 32GB and 2TB later. You will have access to

The new single-pole hinge, twin fan, and rear ventilation improve the clever thermal solution. With this, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 notebook maintains its coolness during a full work day. So, with a bigger battery, you can accomplish more without having to plug in.

3. ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 SE G733CX

ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 SE G733CX laptop for cyber security students

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 SE offers an excellent CPU and GPU combo combination at an incredible beginning price. Although it could get used for gaming, it meets your demands as a cyber security student. It has a 16-core, 24-thread Intel CoreTM i9-12950HX CPU with a 65W TDP.

An NVIDIA® GeForce RTXTM 3080 Ti Laptop GPU with 175W maximum TGP and MUX Switch supports the display, a clean screen with 240Hz WQHD. For individuals who have the means to spend yet want the most for their money, the 3080 is simply the most acceptable option. Furthermore, it has 32GB RAM and a 2TB SSD preinstalled, which is enough to have everything you need.

In addition to cutting-edge components, the 2022 ROG Strix SCAR 17 SE’s elegant design hides secret in specially developed invisible ink. The Rubber grips and soft-touch surfaces give this series design purpose, while a unique vapor chamber keeps the machine cool despite its powerful capabilities.

Keyboard switches are strong enough to withstand time and are rated to sustain over 20 million pushes. With specialized lighting arrangements, per-key RGB lighting offers utter versatility.

With its 90Wh battery, the Strix SCAR laptop can play multimedia for 8.5 hours without needing to be recharged. Additionally, you may utilize USB Type-C charging, which supports 100W and can recharge from 0% to 50% in just 30 minutes.

4. Dell 9310 XPS 2 in 1 Convertible

Dell 9310 XPS 2 in 1 Convertible cyber security students

Instead of merely being recognized for its gaming laptops, Dell wants to be renowned for its high-end business goods. The Dell 9310 XPS 2 in 1 Convertible’s most recent convertible is a robust machine that ensures an excellent, superior experience.

With a 16:10 aspect ratio, this tablet looks fantastic from all perspectives. You can watch movies outside thanks to its anti-reflective touchscreen and increased 450-nit brightness. The best feature is the 360-degree hinge, which allows you to easily rotate your 2-in-1 laptop and set it comfortably on your lap. When used with a touchscreen, it becomes more effective and easier to open.

It has a fast, intelligent Core i7 CPU from Intel’s 11th generation. Tiger Lake i7-1165G7 CPU is a quad-core, upper mid-range SoC with various mobile enhancements designed for usage in ultra-thin laptops. Thanks to Intel Iris Xe graphics, you can count on a rapid, easy, and intuitive experience. The Iris Xe’s performance is also on par with other entry-level dedicated video cards.

Even now, you are not concerned about the thermals. GORE Thermal Insulation, which offers thermal transfer efficiency less than air in a tiny form to keep components cool, is used in constructing the XPS 9310 convertible touchscreen laptop. Its characteristics include a battery life of 49.5Whr, more than 9 hours, a 3-Cell battery, and a rapid wake-up time of under one second.

Even if I don’t like the keyboard, I can still put this great option on the list of the best laptops for cyber security students because of all the other factors.

5. MSI GP66 Leopard Gaming Laptop

MSI GP66 Leopard is a powerful gaming laptop with the most recent Intel CoreTM i7 CPU processor. These CPUs deliver outstanding CPU performance for separate graphics and Intelligent acceleration in high-end PCs. With this 8-core CPU, which supports dual-core turbo speeds of up to 4.6GHz, you can play games more effectively.

It gets powered by robust Nvidia GeForce RTX3080 series graphics, designed with performance-hungry engineering designers in mind. Thanks to its sturdy and audacious construction on a brand-new metal chassis, the GP66 Leopard is the most resilient design to date.

Whether it’s a complicated technical calculation, a problematic engineering calculation, or complex design specifications. With 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB PCIe SSD, the GP66 Leopard can handle any demanding job. Additionally, six heat pipes with specialized cooling solutions for the CPU and GPU enable smooth gaming performance in a small chassis by limiting heat generation and increasing airflow.

A Steelseries Per-Key RGB gaming keyboard will allow you to customize each key to your preferences and show you in-game status in real-time through keyboard illumination. You can even witness the lighting swirl to your favorite song!

Factors To Look At Before Buying Best Laptops For Cyber Security Students

You should consider a few considerations while choosing the best laptops for cyber security students if you want to secure your data. You need to keep a few points in mind because not all brands provide comparable value in the same price range, as mentioned below.

CPU & GPU

Because you’re interested in cyber security, your laptop will get put through many usages, so be sure the CPU you’re looking at is enough for your needs. Choosing the processor that will best serve your needs is crucial. Most experts will suggest AMD Ryzen 7 or Intel i7 processors. Given that you have only recently started and received your college admission, you might not need to go Core i9 at this time.

It might be a big mistake to purchase a laptop so soon after learning what characteristics it needs. So staying with i5 to i7 CPUs will serve the goal well. Typically, you should get the most recent CPUs if you want a nice update that will last a long time.

Additionally, the GPU may be something you want to consider. A dedicated graphics card get often thought to be a little more potent. GPUs often have hundreds or even thousands of cores and can process many multithreaded computations. You can do jobs involving rendering with a strong GPU. And that’s all because of the GPU’s structure, which got tuned for many straightforward operations.

Ram & Storage

Whatever happens, you’ll need enough RAM and storage to operate a few virtual machines. You’ll need a solid laptop to accomplish all this, but my baseline guideline of 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage is preferable. These specifications could be suitable for everyday use but not for more complicated tasks like cracking.

In addition, it depends on the industry you intend to enter. If you need a few extra VN at a time but prefer more mobility, you might be able to get away with 16 GB of RAM and 512 or 1 TB of SSD. The benefit of having upgrade choices is another thing to bear in mind. You will save money by doing this if you discover that you need extra RAM and storage in the future.

Note: Like every other application, virtual machines require RAM. While working on it, these machines will consume the whole amount of RAM you have assigned. You must have enough RAM for your system and at least 4 GB for each virtual machine.

Portability & Battery

One of the most crucial considerations is battery life and mobility, particularly if you intend to travel frequently or bring your laptop to class without getting a charger. You must opt for a laptop with a fast-charging capability and a battery life of at least 8 to 12 specified hours. Four to five hours of battery life from this stated should be plenty for students.

Additionally, you should be able to carry your laptop easily because the more powerful your computer is, the heavier it is. Therefore, you must strike a balance between mobility, battery life, and specification.

Display & Keyboard

Screen size and resolution are essential since a cyber security student will spend a lot of time in front of his laptop. For most college students, a screen size of 13 inches, 15 inches, or 17 inches is typically ideal. At the same time, the majority of programs operate nicely, with 15.6 inches in a 16:9 format.

The greater the resolution, but at least full HD, the more information can fit on the screen and the easier it is to read, especially when working with text. Most code editors choose a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Sometimes you need more screen space than your laptop can offer. But you’ll need an HDMI connector to upgrade to bigger and better displays. Hence, bear it in mind as well.

Furthermore, having a comfortable keyboard should be your top priority if you type a lot of text or code on your keyboard. You must add a separate numeric area to swiftly and simply input numbers without straightening your fingers.

Minimum Requirements For Laptops – Universities Recommendations

Many students ask about this topic on various forums or even directly to the colleges where they want to begin their studies. Will Cyber Security jobs be automated? Well considering that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 28% increase in demand for cyber security specialists by 2026, I would first want to welcome you all to the field of cyber security.

Even though this subject was initially integrated within the responsibilities of the information technology department and get viewed as a subset of IT, today, cyber security is a distinct field, even if it still has a strong relationship with the IT division. As a result, because your laptop will be the primary device you use to access the course materials, it will need to meet minimal requirements.

Typically, all university standards specify the specifications your laptop should meet. These specifications get often described as desired or advised but not absolutely necessary. A laptop that satisfies the basic criteria will do, but they get suggested since they will increase your laptop’s power and versatility and give it a longer useful lifespan.

As a result, I’ve reviewed some of the finest colleges and provided an extensive summary of what you could need in the best laptops for cyber security students. I will go into more depth about the elements to consider when selecting one, but for now, here is a roundup of advice from several colleges.

Hardware

Minimum Requirements

Recommended

CPU

Quad Core: A contemporary 64-bit CPU having at least two physical cores (not counting hyper-threading) 

Intel VT or AMD V (2.4GHz; Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 or above)

VMware and Virtual Box need to be supported.

Intel i7/AMD Ryzen 7

Virtual box/VMware must get supported.

Memory

8GB

It would be better to have extra slots for RAM increasing

Disk

256 GB SSD (Minimum)

512 GB SSD or the ability to install more storage is again better

Graphics

Unless you wish to play games a little bit, you often believe you don’t need additional graphics cards for cyber protection.

However, a graphics card or GPU gets highly advised because deep learning and artificial intelligence are currently in trend and require robust construction and preprocessing, which takes a lot of time without one.

Above-average discrete graphics card

Network

Internet access is a must.

Wi-Fi Availability.

USB

USB-A for device connectivity.

USB-C to USB-A adapter

Softwares

On the computer they will use for classes, students must be able to install some suggested software, such as Microsoft operating systems and development tools.

Students should be able to install all additional software, including Linux distributions and other open source security tools, that they will need for their classes.

OS

All current operating systems ought to function properly. Linux, Mac OS, and Windows are standard options. However, there are other considerations.

Windows & Linux: A laptop must provide the option of dual-booting into Linux or Windows. It is also acceptable if a machine can run these operating systems under VMware with little to no performance effect.

For Mac: Windows is a prerequisite for a sizable portion of cybersecurity software. On macOS, these programs won’t operate natively. While a Mac may get set up to run both Windows and macOS, doing so reduces the battery life and the amount of hard drive space that is accessible.

Note: The operating system and hardware specifications needed to execute cyber cybersecurity apps get not met by Chromebooks, iPads, and other gadgets.

 

The above information got collected from the following universities.

Additionally, several universities recommended Dell and Lenovo as the provider for these laptops since they offer unique setups for students studying cyber cybersecurity. It is often not required to purchase from these sellers, but you may look at other possibilities besides the one I have detailed in this post.

Find the best places to learn cyber security in this article here.

Misconceptions About Buying Cheap Laptops

People have different opinions on whether a high-end laptop can get counted on to survive more than a decent, midrange one. But is this usually the case? Excluding the budget, you spend more for a laptop when you want more features, speed, or a bigger screen, not for durability. It might still get argued that often cheap laptop models have a shorter lifespan.

Usually, when you shop, you should focus on necessary aspects rather than attractive ones. Yes, cheap computers sometimes include odd hardware for which fewer drivers updates. Thus, the terms “worth” and “cost” here are relative. Therefore, consider if each feature or function that an expensive laptop provides over a cheaper one that does not is worthwhile to you.

All of this debate has focused on the features and build quality. Still, as a student studying cyber security, you might wonder if investing more for added security is worthwhile. Therefore, I am taking the position that you, the user, are responsible for determining your laptop’s security.

Your cyber hygiene, peripheral devices, passwords, software installation, download management, free public Wi-Fi connection use, and a few more similar habits are all extremely significant. Your data is as safe or risky on a cheap laptop running the same operating system as on an expensive one. The security concerns vary depending on the operating system but not significantly depending on how much the laptop costs.

While looking for the best laptops for cyber security students, pricing is not the only consideration you may want to make. To make a decision, you might need to work on your cyber hygiene first as a cyber security student.

Getting the Best Laptops for Cyber Security Students: Bottom Line

I’ve talked with you today about several alternatives you have after deciding to study a career related to cyber security. Your productivity will increase, and you’ll save time by always having a reliable laptop. The cybersecurity industry will continue to develop, so if you already have one of the options above, you might not need to invest shortly. However, because demands constantly change, always look at what your course instructor suggests.

Possessing all the factors above will keep you out of difficulty when doing any activity associated with your career as a cyber security specialist. 

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Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller

IT Consultant at Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller is an IT Consultant for Online Cloud Security and has over 7 years of experience in the Information Technology space. He also specializes in repairing laptops & computers. In his spare time, he loves to talk about new technologies and hosts monthly IT and Cyber Security meetings in the Houston area.

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About Online Cloud Security:

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

Recent Posts:

Online Cloud Security Logo (500x500px)

About Online Cloud Security

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

Recent Posts: