27" iMac: Is the text too small?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sam Spade, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Sam Spade macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    I haven't owned a 27" iMac and would like to get some input from those who have. At the native resolution, is the text so small that it strains the eyes? I'm thinking of ordering a 27" model, but this is an issue that concerns me. As monitors and resolutions get larger/higher, the text seems to get smaller and more difficult to read.
  2. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    I don't have an iMac but I use a TBD daily with my MBA - same display panel I believe.

    At 27" it is perfect. Text looks larger on the TBD than on my 13" MBA so it isn't an issue at all.

    EDIT: This is sitting a full arms' length from the display (I'm 6', avg size/build) - though I know that is subjective as each has a different length arm :p but I don't have a tape measure to check the actual distance.
  3. vladfein macrumors regular

    May 28, 2012
    I am only looking to get my first iMac, but I imagine you can change the text size to whatever you are comfortable with. Even Windows can do that :)
  4. plucky duck macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2012
    Command +/- works well in Safari if you find you have issues. Personally I don't have any problems reading standard texts in OSX or any apps I've used.
  5. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
    I have a 27" BTO 2011 iMac and at times I think that the text is small but it mostly depends on the app. In Safari, it isn't for the most part, in TextEdit, it can seem small.

    I'll be honest, at first the screen size does feel a bit large but give it a couple of weeks and you'll get used to it and it will seem like 27" is too small.
  6. mcpix macrumors regular

    May 13, 2005
    I know there's more screen real estate, but is the text actually that much smaller than a 21.5"?
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    how are your eyes. I am 55 and my eyes are okay for close great for medium and great for far. this is due to double cataract surgery. with two lens implants.

    I used proven tech for the implants which if done correctly will give you great far + medium vision or great medium + close vision.

    My point is if you have good close vision and good medium vision the 27 inch screen is fine. If you do not have good close /medium vision you will need to set the resolution at 1920/1080 or maybe even 720 p . I owned a 27 inch iMac and found the 720p and 1080p were good for me but native resolution was a fail.

    New macbook pros with retina have 5 settings

    1) biggest print

    2)big print

    3)normal print or as mac says best

    4) small print

    5)smallest print

    I used setting 2 .

    you really need to go to a store and test because no one knows how good your eyes are for small print but you.
  8. Sam Spade thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    ^ But if you run anything other than the native resolution, the quality is degraded, correct?
  9. ibarnett macrumors regular


    Aug 20, 2010
    Gold Coast, Australia
    I love "you learn something new everyday"
    Command +/- is a beauty.
  10. zewazir macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2012
    I have a 20" iMac, and for certain applications the text seems a bit small for my aging eyes. What I do is set my applications to display at 125% normal, to bring up the text, while keeping native resolution so images are still nice and clear.
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    It may appear small at first if you are not used to hi-res displays but after an initial accommodation period its very comfortable. The text is also not smaller than on a MBP or Air.
  12. DeF46 macrumors regular

    May 9, 2012
    Nope, this is a large screen you're looking at. It's really like a 1680x1050 panel with more space around.

    And yeah you can easily change the scaling in browsers, in Windows (in case you Bootcamp) it's usually Ctrl + Numpad Plus/Minus. And Ctrl + Numpad 0 to reset to 100% (like Photoshop ;))


    Yes it looks really crappy for anything but games, and even for games, you don't want to scale unless it's racing games and stuff with little text.

    Honestly there's no need to scale unless you like the monitor one meter away or more? Mine is just at arms length.
  13. rever3nce macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    I got my 27" imac not long ago and thought the same thing, once you get use to it , it's awesome, of course you can change the resolution settings but lose quality.

    On web sites you can use command + to zoom in on pages. I love my 27" imac
  14. gmanist1000 macrumors 68030


    Sep 22, 2009
    I have the 27" iMac and I was worried about this too. My vision is 20/30 with glasses on and the text is too small when sitting a normal distance. I used Chrome as my default browser until I got my iMac, then I switched to Safari so I could use my trackpad to zoom in and out (like on the iPad).

    So for me, the text is too small but it isn't holding me back from enjoying the computer :)
  15. TwoBytes macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
    Click the reader button in safari. Problem solved!
  16. Sam Spade thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    But on my current iMac, Safari has all sorts of problems with streaming video, so I switched to Chrome. Can you do this in Chrome?
  17. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    Not natively, but you can download a Chrome Extension called iReader that is the same thing.
  18. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I know there was a font size issue with the 17" Macbook Pro's .... I know because I owned one.

    Sold it and bought the 27" iMac and no problems with it for me.
  19. Lancer macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Like others have said different programs allow you to enlarge the text like in web browsers, Word you can make documents bigger and don't forget Universal Access in the System Prefs can help.

    When I first got my 21.5 LG LCD I thought it was huge and the text small as I went from a lower res screen at the same size. But now I think it's too small but I can have more than one window open at once to do different things. That said I look forward to my 27" iMac in the near future :)
  20. Wreckie macrumors regular

    May 9, 2011
    This is very nice, but is there a way to save it as default? Every time I quit safari, it will be too small again.. In Chrome I have set 125% size and it will stay as it is. That is quite sad I can't use Safari because I really like some features of Safari that Chrome lacks.
  21. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2011
    I think it's perfect, but I have 20/20 vision. I'm sure somebody without perfect sight would find it small. But then, certainly no smaller than most laptops.
  22. LachlanH macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    We recently got a 27" iMac at work.

    As someone who has nystagmus and fairly poor vision, I find Command +/- in Safari to be a godsend.

    You can also adjust the cursor size, as well as enable things like Command+Two finger up/down to zoom in, regardless of application.

    But yes, at it's native res, I find the 27" iMac text to be too small to read from a normal distance.

    Thats just me though.
  23. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    It's something that you will slowly get used to over the course of 2-3 weeks. I did experience a fairly severe eye strain initially (would get headaches after looking at the screen for just over an hour), but that soon eased as my eyes quickly got used to the new resolution. Now, I can stare at the screen all day with no issues. :)

    For me, the text in ms office is too small, I typically work at 200% magnification if I want to see anything properly. The upside is that the screen is big enough to allow me to work with 2 documents open side by side. The downside is that when I open those documents on my laptop, I then need to reduce their size because they open at 200% size! (And this means when I re-open the same document, I need to increase the size again, and pinch-to-zoom doesn't work. :eek:

    For webpages, you can zoom to a comfortable size, so that is generally not an issue. I sometimes find tab sizes and addresses too small to see at a glance, but that doesn't really bother me enough.

    Default folder size may also be too small, this can be readily adjusted, but again, can be irritating.

    Overall, no long-lasting problems.
  24. hleewell macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2009
  25. Mister Bumbo macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2012
    That iMac Air is so thin not even USB cables would fit, let alone anything else. >_>

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