You may focus on processing power, display size and quality, and storage size when buying a new laptop. But in recent years, widespread attacks and data theft have left people vulnerable.
The dangers of being hacked, spied on, or having data stolen online or through device theft is all too real. That is why many people have started thinking about privacy and security features when they shop for laptops.
Security isn’t limited to the realm of software. Many laptops come with built-in security hardware features that help people stay safe. These laptops are the cutting edge in quality, sleek design, and, most importantly, security.
Although you should keep in mind that software is still necessary. For instance, you can discover what my IP address is not because of what device I’m using but because I don’t have a virtual private network or proxy software to hide it for me.
Why does it matter? Something as simple as an IP address represents a person’s location and a host of other information. Privacy doesn’t come down to blocking a webcam; it should be approached from all angles.
|Laptop Model||Weight||Storage||Screen Size|
|MacBook Pro||3.02 lbs||256GB - 1TB||13.3 in|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon||3.15 lbs||180GB||14.0 in|
|Dell New XPS 13||2.70 lbs||1TB||13.3 in|
|Huawei Matebook X Pro||2.90 lbs||512GB / 1TB||13.9 in|
|Librem 13||3.00 lbs||120GB - 4TB||13.3 in|
1. MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
Not only are Apple products safer thanks to their closed operating systems, but their hardware gets a bump too.
The biggest security feature of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is its TouchID fingerprint reader. The laptop uses biometric fingerprint authentication, which is one of the most secure authentication methods. On top of that, the TouchID operates on a separate Apple T2 chip, which has encrypted storage.
- Data encryption with FileVault2
- Quick and permanent data deletion with the Instant Wipe feature
- TouchID authentication on separate Apple T2 chip
- Option to remotely wipe data, set up a passcode lock, and suspend ApplePay
- Malware can’t make changes to important system settings thanks to System Integrity Protection
- The closed system does limit the user to Apple-only apps and software
- Only has USB-C ports
- The Touch Bar can be slow or prone to errors
2. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with a built-in shutter over its webcam. It ensures peace of mind when the camera is not in use. And since it’s a hardware feature, malware or a hacking attempt can’t bypass it.
Lenovo is no stranger to high-quality, secure laptops, and this model exemplifies that perfectly. It also has a biometric fingerprint reader, which is a reliable form of authentication.
- The “ThinkShutter” feature covers the webcam when not in use
- Biometric fingerprint scanner with anti-spoofing technology
- WQHD-resolution with 100% Adobe RGB color gamut
- The 360-degree far-field microphone with Amazon Alexa support may be cool, but is also a potential privacy risk for security-conscious users
- Ethernet requires a dongle
3. Dell XPS 13
Not only is the Dell XPS 13 a great laptop that’s built to last, but it also comes with a couple of great security features.
Users can use one of two very secure ways to log in. First, it’s possible to use facial recognition through Windows Hello and its infrared camera. Second, through the fingerprint reader in the power button.
This model also uses Dell’s Mobile Connect feature, which is a point-to-point secure connection.
- Log in through the fingerprint reader that’s built into the power button
- Log in using facial recognition through the infrared camera and Windows Hello
- Use secure mobile tethering with the Mobile Connect feature
- The below the screen webcam has an unflattering angle during video calls and streaming
- Expensive. Other products in its price range offer a few more features (though not necessarily more security features)
4. Huawei Matebook X Pro
The Huawei Matebook X Pro’s most unique feature is its camera. It’s located on the keyboard under a pop-up button. That means the camera may capture the user from an unflattering angle. But being able to hide the camera is still an excellent privacy boost.
The laptop also comes with a fingerprint reader that stores fingerprints on the device instead of a cloud server. It makes it even more secure.
- The fingerprint reader on the power button stores fingerprints on the laptop instead of on the cloud
- The webcam that’s hidden under a spring-loaded button on the keyboard
- The webcam is at an unflattering angle and of subpar quality
- Can run hot and loud courtesy of only one built-in fan
- US security agencies have accused Huawei of using their devices for espionage. Yet no concrete proof has been provided so far
5. Librem 13
The Librem 13 is manufactured by a California-based company called Purism. It might be one of the most secure laptops on the market.
This laptop is last on this list because it sacrifices a lot of conveniences to put privacy first. It might not suit everyone.
Librem uses a Debian GNU/Linux distribution called PureOS as the operating system, which is challenging to learn. On top of that, the system only allows the user to install apps that meet strict privacy requirements.
- Uses Linux, which overtakes Microsoft in terms of security by leaps and bounds
- Software is open-source
- Blocks privacy-invading software and apps
- Comes with a privacy-focused browser called Purebrowser pre-installed
- Has app-isolating features to prevent apps from accessing other parts of the system
- Has a kill-switch on the keyboard that deactivates the microphone and webcam
- Sacrifices a lot of user-friendliness and convenience
- The system blocks a lot of apps from being installed due to privacy concerns
Many laptop manufacturers start to see the merit in adding compelling and convenient privacy and security features. While privacy-centered software tools are still crucial, hardware has become a central focus too.