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Thread: Trying to decide between System76 or Thinkpad?

  1. #1
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    Question Trying to decide between System76 or Thinkpad?

    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$


    1. 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?
    2. Anyone know if system 76 is reliable? I read some negative reviews saying that their build quality is not good? Any experience with them?
    3. 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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Kali forums
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    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

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