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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:06 AM   #1
RedSunshine
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Refurb 27 or new 21?

Help me decide. I’d like to spend under $1500, which would include AppleCare. No gamers in the family, but we do a bit of photo editing (very basic using elements, not photoshop). Kids use it for homework (ie Office)

Do I buy a refurbished 27” iMac with only 4GB ram for $1359 or get a new 21” base model with essentially the same processor, hard drive, and graphics for $1299? My assumption here is they are “essentially the same”. Is that true statement?

I don’t “need” a 27” monitor but it is nice. I do think I would miss not having an optical drive so that’s another cost to consider.

Or do I forget the iMac altogether and get a decent tower/monitor and learn windows 8?

I hate making decisions.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:19 AM   #2
patricem
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Personally I would go for the refurb 27. Big screen is nice. Super drive is nice. 21 to me is too small. Completely forget Windows 8 unless you want to spend a lot of time frustrated.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:27 AM   #3
jmah88
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Originally Posted by RedSunshine View Post
Help me decide. I’d like to spend under $1500, which would include AppleCare. No gamers in the family, but we do a bit of photo editing (very basic using elements, not photoshop). Kids use it for homework (ie Office)

Do I buy a refurbished 27” iMac with only 4GB ram for $1359 or get a new 21” base model with essentially the same processor, hard drive, and graphics for $1299? My assumption here is they are “essentially the same”. Is that true statement?

I don’t “need” a 27” monitor but it is nice. I do think I would miss not having an optical drive so that’s another cost to consider.

Or do I forget the iMac altogether and get a decent tower/monitor and learn windows 8?

I hate making decisions.
I'm in exactly same boat! Also, do you think the price of the refurb will drop by tommorrow?
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:42 AM   #4
just2wikid
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No regrets here

I had the exact same dilemma a couple weeks ago and I decided on going with refurbed 27". I added another 8gb of RAM for $50 as soon as I got it and I couldn't be any happier with my decision. The refurbs are in brand new condition and you can't go wrong with big screen too. I would at least wait until tomorrow to see if the price will drop due to the new ones coming out.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:56 AM   #5
carter2
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21.5-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 1920-by-1080 resolution with support for millions of colors.2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) with 6MB L3 cache.8GB (two 4GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory.NVIDIA GeForce
GT 640M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory
whereas

27-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1440 resolution with support for millions of colors.3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) with 6MB L3 cache.8GB (two 4GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory; four user-accessible SO-DIMM slots.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 10:05 AM   #6
dmw16
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I'd say the refurb 27". It's cheaper (I think), user upgradable, and has a larger screen which at least for me is a must-have.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 10:06 AM   #7
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Get the 27". The screen is awesome.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 10:32 AM   #8
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 10:59 AM   #9
hacke
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If I would have to decide, I personally would go with the 21,5" - without looking at it financially!
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:02 AM   #10
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i just got the 27" refurb and couldn't be happier. we have the same wants for a computer, and the 27" refurb is awesome. big screen, fast, just a tad slower than the new ones. does size matter? yeah, kinda does.

m
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:50 PM   #11
RedSunshine
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I went ahead and bought the 27 inch refurb. If it goes on sale even more tomorrow - and is still in stock - I'll just buy it again and return the more expensive one.

I think you're all right - thin 21" is certainly not as exciting as thick 27".
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:59 PM   #12
tom vilsack
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I would have waited to check out the new iMac at a apple store before buying the older 27".also once the new models do come out,I'm sure the older refurbs will come down in price.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 02:02 PM   #13
RedSunshine
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I would have waited to check out the new iMac at a apple store before buying the older 27".also once the new models do come out,I'm sure the older refurbs will come down in price.
Yes but if everyone else and their grandmother does this same thing, I very well could find myself out of luck getting one at all for awhile. If it IS cheaper, I'll just order ANOTHER one and return the one I ordered today. I actually am not very optimistic the price on these will be lower.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 02:07 PM   #14
chilady1
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So I have been wrestling with this question the better part of two weeks. Once the new iMac line was announced, I started thinking about this. I have read a lot of opinions on this board and it seem a lot of people leaning toward the refurb.

I ended up securing a great deal from a private owner on Craiglist. Got a 27inch, Mid 2011 i5 iMac which they upgraded to 8GB of RAM. THe main reason I went used as opposed to new was I really couldn't justify the higher price on the 27 inch and definitely didn't want the 21.5 given no availability to upgrade it.

In addition, most folks I have polled (completely unscientific) indicated that I would be much happier with the 27 inch monitor even though right now the thing is like a beast. I was assured over time, I will get use to it and eventually wonder how I lived without it. I pick up my new system Sunday and couldn't be happier. Good Luck with your decision, I feel for me, I made the right choice.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 02:15 PM   #15
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I'm in exactly same boat! Also, do you think the price of the refurb will drop by tommorrow?
Absolutely not! If history is any measure the price will not go down from Apple. If you want one and are ready to buy then just go ahead and pull the trigger.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 08:21 PM   #16
patricem
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Originally Posted by RedSunshine View Post
I went ahead and bought the 27 inch refurb. If it goes on sale even more tomorrow - and is still in stock - I'll just buy it again and return the more expensive one.

I think you're all right - thin 21" is certainly not as exciting as thick 27".
OMg I'm jealous You are going to LOVE it love love love
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 06:45 PM   #17
RedSunshine
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The refurbished 27" arrived last night and it's PERFECT. I can't find a single scratch, blemish, or even a fingerprint on this thing. And you all were right, the 27" is gorgeous.

i may not have the newest iMac out there, but I really don't know why anyone would buy the new base model 21" when you can get a refurbished 2011 27" for a few dollars more.

Now I'm off to install 2 sticks of RAM...myself...for just $40.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 09:34 PM   #18
chilady1
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I just got my 27 inch iMac from a Craiglist's seller and all I can say is WOW! First, the screen is immense (I am coming from a 21 inch screen PC) so it is huge although 4 days later I am getting use to it.

The machine ROCKS! Why I waited I don't know. When my seller told me it was "hardly used" - I thought, sure everyone says that. But in his case, it was the truth. Purchased Feb 2012 and hardly used. No a scratch or blemish on this thing. No dead pixels and he had purchased AppleCare so the machine is covered until 2015. The seller had also upgraded the RAM from 4GBs to 8GBs.

He even included Office for Mac 2011. I feel like I stole this machine. It is beautiful and functional. I am thrilled to death and I feel for me personally, I made the right decision in getting last year's model. The new iMacs are gorgeous but I honestly could care less about 0.5mm thinness. I actually like the optical drive and love where the SD card slot is located.

I know that I made that right decision and don't regret it for a minute. Good Luck with your decision!

P.S. Like RedSunshine, one of the biggest downfalls for me with the new line, especially the 21.5 inch is it cannot be upgraded by the user. Apple is kinda forcing people that want to upgrade into the 27 inch model - personally, I can't swing that kind of $$$$$.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 10:31 PM   #19
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21 to small now days..

27 is the smallest screen I would like to work on day to day
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 10:44 PM   #20
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Talking

Congrats RedSunshine! You will love that sexy beast you got! Enjoy!
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