VMware ESXi: help downloading large ISO
Hopefully, you have a running guest system on the existing VMware setup... That's one quick option. If linux, you can wget/curl. If Windows, just download as normal.
I typically download .ISO files to the vCenter server and upload to the datastore from there. That's easy since my vCenter is usually a Windows server, so any complex download authentication methods are easy to deal with.
wget does exist in ESXi, so maybe the best option is to get the .ISO file you need to a location that does not require an https download; http or normal ftp.
Also see: cURL on ESXi 5.0?
Just SSH-proxy the file download operation through another system with an SSL-enabled wget. Note that the default ESXi firewall policy blocks outgoing SSH, so it needs to be allowed first. From the ESXi shell :
esxcli network firewall ruleset set -r sshClient -e true ssh proxyhost curl -s https://server/path/file.iso >/vmfs/volumes/vmfs_name/path/file.iso esxcli network firewall ruleset set -r sshClient -e false
You don't mention the laptop OS. Assuming it is Windows, you can use WinSCP.
Log into your ESXi host, drill into your datastore, and do a filecopy using a Commander style, or optionally a Windows Explorer style interface.
If you are looking for a command line option, you can use Putty Secure Copy client.
I use both - gui for one off file copies, and command line to copy files to several ssh hosts.