View Full Version : Trying to decide between System76 or Thinkpad?

2018-07-12, 04:55
Hello everyone,

I am new around here. I am getting into pentesting for career and was looking around to get a laptop which will run my kali and be primary portable attack station. I have come down to System76 or Lenovo and I would appreciate some help in choosing the brand and the laptop.

I am most likely going to be doing all sorts of dev work as well, so the pc will run either 2 linux os or windows & kali to support this. I am thinking 500gb on each (ssd) + 1TB hard drive for each (2tb) either internal or external.

What I am not sure is which brand is better and how much I should invest.

For System 76:

They allow for heavy customizations.
I am looking into Seval WS or Bonobo WS customized
I would prefer 17inch
After some upgrades

Ram: 16GB DD4 2666mhz
Storage: 1TB SSD NVMe + 2TB HDD
CPU: 8086k
GPU: 1070 nvidia
They end up around 3500-3800$

For Lenovo Thinkpad:

I heard that their quality is better. I have Thinpad 480s for work, so they are not bad
The problem is that the system cannot be as powerfull even after customization like System 76
Model Carbon X1 6th gen I get

CPU: 8650u
Ram: 16gb 2133mhz DDR3
HDD: 1TB SSD Nvme but I will need external hard drive for anything else
GPU: Intel internal
Comes about : 2000-2300$


I am looking for long-term investment here, so is saving up $1500 worth giving up the performance? Or in other words would you justify spending $1500 more for the performance increase?
Anyone know if system 76 is reliable? I read some negative reviews saying that their build quality is not good? Any experience with them?
I read that thinkpad is fine with linux but some have problems, any experiences here?

So essentially,

Should I spend more and get system76 or save up and get thinkpad?
Usage: Pentesting + Devs

2018-07-12, 13:02
I have a Thinkpad L530 (8gb RAM and Intel i7-3520M CPU) that works well for me. It's dual boot Windows 7/Kali. No Linux compatibility issues to date. USB 3 port is handy for wireless work in the 2.4 and 5 ghz range.

2018-09-17, 21:52
I would save up for the system76 only cause it'll be a lot more useful in the future and also it won't be as slow as the other one you want something quick, long lasting and reliable!

2018-09-20, 23:10
It really depends on your need in the field.

I'm doing just fine on a Thinkpad T420 for field work running Kali, with 300 GB SSD, and 16 GB RAM.

But for lab work and virtualization, i run a HP Z420 Octa core, with 32 GB RAM, 2 x 2 TB harddrive. I think in the lab, it's really nice to have some horse power to burn, but in the field, i really don't have no use for it.
So, I would always go for the thinkpad, simply because it can be trusted, and spare parts are always easy to get, almost anywhere ;)

just my 2c :)

Net Storm
2018-10-03, 10:05
if you going to upgrade you wifi card in lenovo good luck its withe listed and the bios its locked

i learned that hard way :(