Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Apple M1

The Wrap – Apple’s M1 MacBooks & bad passwords

Apple’s new M1 MacBooks reviewed, plus what’s a laser projector, and how can it bring the cinema experience home? And is your password the worst in the world? All that and more in five.

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Near the end of November 2020, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with only a few weeks left until Christmas, you probably won’t be super shocked to learn that gadgets are flying to the shelves as quickly as possible so they can, in turn, fly off the shelves.

That’s just the way these things go, with numerous computers and headphones and phones and more finishing up the year by making their way to online and retail, so folks can go out and get their hands on them for themselves.

For instance, this week, Samsung released two 4K short throw projectors for Australians, helping to bring the cinema experience home with a couple of new devices called “The Premiere”. Yep, it’s a bit of a silly name, but Samsung is calling it a lifestyle TV, even though it’s a projector, built for people who want that big screen experience at home, but without a dedicated room.

Short throw projectors are known to deliver the big screen projector experience without the required room projectors normally need, and these days use laser light to work in daylight, as well. Samsung isn’t alone in its approach, with Hisense and Epson both offering recent short throw laser projectors, as well.

But you’ll need a pretty penny, with these starting at the $5K mark, plus a spare wall.

A big screen experience isn’t the only new gadget this week. There’s also new wireless mesh routers from D-Link, because better WiFi at home has become even more of a priority during the pandemic, plus a new robotic vacuum clean from Ecovacs focused on cleaning the pet hair from your home.

There’s also a new ultra-light gaming mouse from Logitech in the G Pro X Superlight, though it costs more than most mice manager, at just under $300, and there’s a new JBL boom box of sorts in the PartyBox On-The-Go, which is basically a big Bluetooth speaker with a couple of mics for good measure.

And these are all pretty simple things to get your head around, but something that you might struggle with are passwords. You wouldn’t be the only one, mind you, as lots of people have problems with passwords. In fact, this week, the worst passwords of the year have been released, and some are shocking, with 123456 topping the list, edging out password, 123123, abc123, iloveyou, and password1.

These are just nightmarish passwords, and if you’re relying on any of these, we implore you to change your password immediately, like as soon as possible. There are hundreds of thousands to millions of people using these simple passwords, and NordPass this week found 2.5 million people using 123456 as a password, which isn’t just crazy, but easily broken.

So if you’re going to change a password, opt for something more complex, such as a word or phrase that means something to you, add some numbers and uppercase letters, and maybe end it with an exclamation mark.

Or if you’re going to use truly complex passwords, a mixture of numbers, letters, and characters, consider having some way of automatically filling them in, such as with fingerprint security.

Apple’s latest laptops have that, and we’re reviewing both of them this week, the new M1 computers.

They’re a big deal because it’s Apple moving away from Intel, and using something more like what’s found in the iPhone and iPad, but in a computer.

The move to its own chip, something called Apple Silicon, means there’s more power and heat control, and it means the new laptops with the chips can run super fast without getting super hot, and that’s only one feature.

Launched this week, the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro both sport the same designs as they ever did, but are so much faster than they ever were, too. The MacBook Air we reviewed was competing with the 16 inch MacBook Pro in power, and it’s easily half the price.

They also run apps from the iPhone and iPad, as well as the desktop apps, and means you can rely on some of the apps you use on your phone, but on your computer.

Apps need to be made to work with the new chips, and Google even released an M1 version of Chrome late this week, but for every app that isn’t made, Apple has an automatic conversion system called Rosetta 2, that works really well, too.

But perhaps the most impressive thing is battery life, with the new chips just soaring above anything else. We could hit 10 to 12 hours with the MacBook Air, and it’s rated for as much as 15 if you keep to the basics. And the MacBook Pro, as much as 20 is on the cards there, though that’s depending on what you do.

The new Macs are amazing, and some of the best machines all year. The MacBook Air might even be the best laptop of the year, as it delivers power and performance at a solid price, and highly recommended.

We could keep talking about it, but we’ve run out of time, so you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round-up. A new episode goes live every Friday at Podcast One, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, but for now, have a great week. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.

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