In order to get started with Kali Linux, we need a proper machine. In fact I needed a new computer anyway because of the following reason that is best explained with an image because an image says more than a thousand words:

I don’t want to make it a Windows-bashing post, and I have to say that this Windows 7 computer served me very well since 2013 during which I only upgraded the graphical card once. Yet in 2022 it just started to get slow and showed regular blue screens of death. After like eight or nine years it therefore became time to replace it. I also need to admit that I still use a Windows computer for various purposes such as administration, watching Youtube, playing low-end games and writing this article with Microsoft Word. So now I get the best of both worlds with two laptops on my desk: One for the administration and fun, and the other one for working, programming and education related to my job and to Kali. They therefore serve an exclusive purpose because Kali is not meant for administration and leisure, and I personally hate programming on Windows.

While my Windows laptop is also still new and a pretty decent machine with 16GB RAM and an i5 processor, I wanted to get something more special for a Linux laptop so I googled for “laptop with linux” and got across the website which is a Dutch firm that specializes in selling Clevo computers where they install a Linux distribution of your choice and assemble the parts of your choice. It sounded perfect and there were plenty of options for me to choose from for a new laptop and their individual parts so I could fully customize the laptop the way I wanted. So I decided to take some time to think about what I want, also considering the costs because a new powerful laptop is not cheap. Eventually, I chose a model and came to the following specifications:

  • Clevo NS70PU 17.3 inch laptop for the model mainly because of the size. There were two other models with the same size, but one came with a stronger graphical card which I didn’t need (mainly meant for video editing) and the other one supported only 4 hours of battery instead of 7 hours
  • I took the stronger battery allowing for 7 hours of working instead of just 4 hours
  • i7 Processor rather than i5 processor with a somewhat higher frequency and smart cache
  • 32 GB RAM (2×16). Here I was doubting between 16 GB and 32 GB but I thought that if I run some heavy Docker workloads then 32 GB would likely give me some more space to breathe.
  • Kali Linux 2022.3 (64-bit) as OS, obviously
  • 500 GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD (read: 6900 MB/s, write 5000 MB/s). This is extremely fast. I could have chosen the other 500 GB SSD with half of the reading and writing speeds but I thought for the small price increase I might as well take the faster one. As for the size I think it is more than sufficient to support my needs when installing various software applications such as Docker, Kubernetes and various IDEs. 250 GB would also work but some extra space wouldn’t be bad. 1 TB however would be overkill.
  • That said, I decided to get no additional storage which was also offered, albeit exclusively on SSDs for this model, contrary to the other model which did offer cheaper additional storage on HDDs. Yet I don’t think I will need the space, let alone on an SSD, so instead I purchased an external hard drive offering 2 TB which also has the advantage that it is portable and I can also use it for my Windows laptop.
  • No disk encryption.
  • Pre-install Firefox for browsing.
  • Wireless adapter for WiFi. You could actually choose to leave that out, but I will need it.
  • The keyboard layout is QWERTY ISO (US) which is the same that is used in the Netherlands and I also ordered a new keyboard for it because in Germany where I live you can only get keyboards with the QWERTZ layout.
  • I choose the standard thermal paste. I didn’t get anything delivered unlike I expected so I presume they just applied it when installing the CPU.
  • EU power plug

Then there were various extras such as engraving a logo and your name, installing additional software, purchasing a VPN subscription and buying additional accessories such as an external DVD drive and USB-hubs. Apart from the keyboard I didn’t get anything else and I still had webcam covers myself of which I did apply one myself (it fit perfectly).

Overall by clicking on the component you could order a fully customized laptop and the price is shown at the bottom of the page. It cost over 1500 euro which is quite a lot, however, if you would want to get a different but more common model such as HP or Acer with similar specifications you will not find any under 1000 euro. And Macbooks cost even more. Equipment costs money, period.


I also had a couple of phone calls with the guys from the store to advise me. They are quite friendly and they seemed to know what they were doing. This is also what I experienced when the delivery came in this mysterious box.

The laptop looked professionally wrapped the box was marked with “fragile” in order to ensure a painless delivery. I also received an installation guide and a 32 GB USB stick that contains a backup of the OS in case I want to reinstall it. Unwrapping it gave birth to this beautiful beast.

I waited a couple of days to put the laptop on the right place, because I first wanted to get rid of my old desktop computer that was still occupying a lot of desk space. My desk now looks like this:

And most importantly: The laptop works! In my next article I will go deeper on how I installed the laptop and downloaded the software that I needed.