Depressed, disgruntled, & dissatisfied new iMac owner...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by brinstar, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. brinstar macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #1
    I bought one of the new 20" iMac's a week or so ago, and finally convinced myself to open it up and check it out today. I've been a bit apprehensive in doing so after hearing of all of the freezing issues and whatnot. However, I could wait no longer as my fourteen day window was closing in on me fast.

    Well, no sooner than I turned on the power was a I met with a horribly audible fan noise, like nothing I've heard before. It was constant, even after leaving it on for a bit and turning it off and on a few times. I never even got around to checking to see if it'd freeze!

    I was grateful not to see a dead pixel, but I do now know what all of the fuss was about regarding the gradient issue. Wow, is it noticeably bad! My current monitor, Samsung SyncMaster 730B, is flawless and wonderful. Bright and consistent all around. It also features a viewing angle of 160/160. I have to really strain to notice a shift in color/brightness. However, with the iMac's screen, just looking at it at a 30 or so degree angle is just awful. And if I venture over a smidgeon more than that the startup screen is no longer blue - it looks like a dirty, spotty yellowish white.

    I know some say that when you're seated to actually work at your computer you're not moving your head all about, but sadly even slight movements - up/down or left/right - show noticeable change in color/brightness. I looked at them before I bought them at the store and noticed it on some level, but it was nothing like this. Perhaps I was distracted in the store, I don't know. Even the glare from the glossy screen wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be (though I never made it past the startup screen due to the fan issue and my knowing it'd have to go back).

    This finally brings me to my question, seeing as how the fan is busted and the gradient issue is huge and painfully obvious, would I be able to return it out right without paying the silly restocking fee? This being my first Apple product, I just want to return it. I have no plans to exchange it at this time. My first impression, as well as the stories of others that are having freezing issues have given me great cause for concern over the quality of this particular product. Can anyone shed light on what I may face when taking my system in later tonight or tomorrow morning for a refund? Sure they can replace/repair the fan, but the screen issue is unfixable I would imagine.

    Now I'm stuck. I don't want a notebook, and the mini is kind of an underpowered rip off (even though I do like most things about it). I'm left with no other options. I loathe the Apple white look of the iMac that came before, so I pretty much have no choice but to buy another PC. And here I was ready to make the switch. I still want to, and have to do something soon as the computer I am working with now is dying a slow, painful death. I love the look and the all-in-one aspect of the new iMac and had really hoped this would be it for me. What a shame. Thoughts, comments, observations?

    (Sorry for the length of this post, and if I've submitted this in the wrong forum section. Feel free to move if necessary.)
     
  2. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    MD & ATL,GA
    #2
    well, the 2.8GHZ is silent, literally, so yours has a problem, 20 inch imacs are known for screen issues, so as the 24 inch, but thats fixable by a couple calibrations, the 20 inch isnt, it has fading problems, on the top, the text may be bold and black, on the bottom, it may be faded grey.

    warning you, do not go back to PC, macs are better, but the hardware may not be the best, try out a if you dont want to go for the mini (and if you are pro, the mac pro) and excellent desktop replacement is a macbook pro, you said you didnt want a notebook, but get a display for it, and the laptop could be "the tower" and then you will have a 2 in 1 computer!

    a lot of people are worried that people switching over to mac, take the imac path, then getting unlucky with your problem, will go back to PC, trust me, we mac users want the world to use mac, so just hold it with apple!:(
     
  3. brinstar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #3
    Well, I called the Apple store last night to see about exchanging my defective iMac for a new one, but was instructed to go online and make an appointment. I attempted to, but they didn't have any openings until Monday. So I called this morning, and luckily someone told me to bring it on in. I did just that and without them even having to check the one I was returning, they gave me a new one. Very painless process indeed - though it was to my advantage that the store was jam packed and every attendant was super busy.

    I got home and unpacked and set up my new iMac. I turned it on and thankfully the fan noise was nonexistent. It was as quiet as could be. However, there was not one, not two, but three specs of something beneath the glass. They weren't dead pixels, but what looked to be specs of dirt and debris. There also looked to be a slight tear in the bottom corner of the actual screen beneath the glass - very strange. Also, the screen was just as washed out as the one before. Just slight movements left/right and up/down caused the screen to really fade out and turn a yellowish white. And this is staying well within the 160 degree angle. I'm truly not looking for problems. It's just that with the one's I am experiencing, I don't have to look very hard.

    I won't be able to make it back to the store until Friday, but I'll discuss my options with them then. I'm not sure what I want to do from here. My impression of the new iMac is no longer a rosy one. Sure they're very nicely made (looks wise), but the quality is just not there (based on my two experiences). Maybe I'll try a mini. I really wanted something that would at least be able to play a game or two, but other than the iMac, there are really no other choices. The Mac Pro is way more than I need, as is also well above what I wanted to pay. I also don't care for notebooks. Perhaps I can try and hang on until the iMac's are perfected? I just know that I expected so much more out of Apple. This being my first Apple experience, their image is now quite tarnished in my eyes.
     
  4. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #4
    Go into the Displays panel in System Preferences. Click the color tab and calibrate the screen. Use the Expert settings and follow the instructions. I also have a 20" Alu and the default settings are horrible, but following calibration the colours are rich and there is no noticeable difference in the way the screen appears from top to bottom. Try it and you'll see how much the quality improves.

    Bugger about stuff possibly being under the screen though. Not sure what to suggest there...
     
  5. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #5
    Obviously, without seeing the units you've had, I couldn't say if your were particularly off the typical build quality or not. Try and remember that, like pretty much every other PC on the planet today, these were manufactured/assembled in China, Taiwan, Maylasia, or the like, in mass quantities with only basic QA.

    That's not an excuse, just a fact of life today. I also know that with Apple products, I certainly (and maybe unreasonably) expect perfection, which quite honestly, is silly with consumer electronics. I've been fortunate though, I haven't had a bad Apple product in 27 years of buying them, and only one warranty servicing in that time.

    My suggestion is to keep the faith, take the iMac back, be firm (and pleasant and polite). The store you dealt with already seems to be straight up in their dealings with you, there's no reason to expect otherwise now.

    Another suggestion: I tend to avoid the "Rev A" of any redesigned model. The second versions are generally very sweet, but the manufacturing plants have to get their act together first, just like new car models.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
     
  6. brinstar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #6
    Thanks. If they insist on my trying out another one, I may do as you suggest. I already have it packed back up and ready to return. I never even made it past the first screen when I turned it on (the mouse splash screen), so I never even made to a point where I could adjust any kind of settings. I didn't think it meaningful seeing as how my screen was defective. I'll try and give the iMac one more chance, though. It's just such a pain lugging the monstrous box around. My weak arms are still feeling the wobbly effects of its heft.
     
  7. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #7
    I am also wondering. When you first turned it on.. Did you hold the power button down ? That would cause the long beep noise which can be alarming.



    And for everyone. Mac default calibration of their screens iMac, Macbook, MacBook Pro all really suck.
    An application called Supercal will calibrate your screen, I use it on all my macs and have great color reproduction.

    http://bergdesign.com/supercal/
     
  8. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #8
    Look on the bright side, you're saving a fortune in gym memberships ;)
     
  9. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #9
    As a user (victim?) of the 20" iMac myself, I still believe that Apple has made a very large mistake putting out a product with such low quality right at the exact point when new adopters are switching to the platform.

    For every polite, inquisitive person we see on this forum with a problem there must be hundreds who don't know what to do or where to go for help. I am certain that there are hundreds or even thousands of folks out there that bought their very first Apple computer this year and it turned out to be a POS! :(

    Not all of them will even bother to tell Apple about it or have it fixed or returned, but you can be certain that they will complain about it in the local pub to all concerned for years to come. Just for the sake of keeping the profit margins up, Apple has bought some of the worst word of mouth advertising they could for themselves even though they are sitting on a pile of cash the size of a house right now. This makes no sense to me, nor (probably) to Apple now that it's happened.

    Someone sure as hell wasn't thinking when they decided to put those crappy, budget screens into the iMac (their flagship product! :eek: ), at the exact same time as new adopters are flocking to the Mac in droves.

    Dumbest move by Apple *ever* IMO.
     
  10. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #10
    Technically the ACD & MacPro + MacBookPro are apples 'Flagship' products. iMac is it's consumer desktop, but that still does not excuse a terrible screen. Heck the 20" G4 iMac's had better screens than the current 20" iMac which is wrong.

    We have come to expect better of apple.
     
  11. dL. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    #11
    The 20" screens aren't that bad unless you're into graphic design and photography. After calibration it looks just like other budget LCDs you find everywhere in retail and notebooks.

    dL
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #12
    That's the only issue I have with it TBH. Why the hell are the default settings so bad? Most switchers won't work out about screen calibration themselves, so it's only if they ask another Mac user that they're going to see that the screens aren't supposed to be that washed out.
     
  13. $MacUser$ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    I believe the screens come calibrated to look good in the brightly lit (fluorescent) Apple stores. They are not calibrated for the typically warm (2700K) household lighting. Either change your bulbs to 4200K or above, or change your settings.

    One encounters this same problem with HD LCD televisions: they are calibrated to look good on showroom floors, but not in living rooms. You just have to mess with the menus.
     
  14. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #14
    Well, you can either get a refund or live with what you have. The screens aren't perfect on the 20", but you've got a perfectly sound product. Calibrate it and within a couple of days you won't notice the slight colour shift.

    It's not a problem, just a characteristic of the LG Philips screens.
     
  15. $MacUser$ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #15
    Also, with regard to switching back to PC: don't do it. I bought my first Mac four years ago (Powerbook), which is still going strong. It is almost painful for me to use windows these days. OSX is worth the frustration in finding a good product. If you have dust specs, etc etc, just keep exchanging until you get something that meets your needs. There is nothing wrong with that.

    If I were you, I'd get a refund on your iMac and wait for Rev. B. Everything about the next revision is going to be so much better, most notably the processor (4 core, 1066mhz bus montevina as opposed to the current 800ish mhz bus, 2 core santa rosa).

    Again, just to reiterate, I'll never use a PC again, even if someone gave me one for free. They're such a gross waste of money.
     
  16. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #16
    If these screens are anything like the Macbook screens, (TN?) and, as conveyed on these forums, I suppose they are, they are absolute trash. I wouldn't recommend an 20" iMac to anyone anymore. All because of the screen. It's a total dealbreaker.

    If you are going to make an all-in-one, where the screen is not replaceable, it better be a good one.

    Don't bother exchanging your iMac. Return it. The 24" uses a much better panel. Either get that, or get a PC.
     
  17. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    MD & ATL,GA
    #17
    HOW DARE YOU SAY THE "'p' word"!!!!!!! M$ is against the law (in my world) we tell people to buy macs, not "clear objects in our house"
     
  18. ivac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #18
    Had the same exact problem with a horribly loud fan on my 20" alum iMac 2.4. Returned to Apple. New one should arrive from China within a few days. No problems with the screen on that one however. If it wasn't for the turbo fan it would have been perfect.......
     
  19. brinstar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #19
    Thanks a bunch to all that have responded thus far. It's good to hear what others have to say on the various matters at hand.

    I think what I might do is return my second defective iMac out right, and buy the cheapest mini (which I like, but as I've mentioned ealier I think are underpowered ripoffs) with the notion of selling it once the next update to the iMac is released. Which from what I can guess, should be sometime in early Spring - hopefully no later than that, though. I don't do many intensive things on my computer, so a mini would do for now. I have a Wii and DS so I don't need an iMac or better for gaming, but I would like the option I think. I have a great monitor already to use with the mini, though I do wish it were widescreen.

    Do you think this is a decent idea? I've read that Mac's retain a pretty good resale value. And even if I can't get much for the mini I am thinking about swapping my iMac with, it won't cost me too terribly much should I be stuck having to keep it alongside the "rev B" iMac I intend to get later on. We'll see what Apple has to say when I make it in sometime this week.

    Oh, and ivac... Sorry to hear that your fan was no good too. It was quite a jarring experience when you turned it on, I bet. I heard of so many issues plaguing the iMac's that I wasn't expecting that little booger to act up. Oh well. I hope the fan in your replacement is as quiet as my replacement and that your screen makes it to you free of flaws.

    I'll update again once I return from the Apple store later in the week. I won't give up on Apple yet... I just hope they don't give me more cause to loose the faith!
     
  20. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    #20
    Don't believe the stories about "calibrating-away" the color and brightness gradients -- calibration affects every pixel on the display in exactly the same way, so it can't possibly repair non-uniformities.

    Calibration can "fix" the washed-out colors at the bottom edge of the screen -- but only by destroying the color balance at the top edge. Here are some photos to prove the point -- the same 20" ALU iMac screen with four different color profiles:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/TheLooby

    Or, you can try your own custom-calibration -- but while you're doing it, drag the "apple-in-a-box" calibration window to different areas of the screen. Yep, the freakin' optimum settings change radically every time you move the window a few inches.

    ... lipstick on a pig,

    LK
     
  21. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    #21

    The problem is that we pay a premium price for a premium product. Something this guy has not experienced. Maybe Apple needs to go back to assembling here in the US. I love my WHITE iMac Core 2 Duo 2.0ghz. Just love it. It's been perfect over the last year. I'm a die hard old PC user that just laughed at everything Mac. But once I was able to bootcamp into windwoes for those few apps I just have to have, I took the plunge and have never regretted it.

    I wish you luck. I think its worth it, but I wouldn't blame you if you got a refund and never looked at anohter one.
     
  22. plumosa macrumors regular

    plumosa

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    I bought my aluimac the first day it came out. I was a little worried when I brought it home and it was really loud when it started up. Fortunately it went away on its on after a few days. I haven't had an issue with that since then.


    As for the display, mine is perfect. Of course there are obvious color gradient issues when looking at it from extreme angles, but sitting on the chair in front of the screen and even moving about whilst seated have all been perfectly ok.


    So what I'm saying is, there are perfectly good 20" iMacs out there. You might just need to return it one more time.
     
  23. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    #23
    But we're not paying BUDGET prices for these little gems!!!
     
  24. $MacUser$ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #24
    It sounds like a waste of money to me. Pick up a used mini from eBay, or or even a used iMac G4. All it needs to do is run OSX and Safari. You'll be able to turn around and sell if for exactly what you paid, maybe more.

    Like I said in the other post: wait for Rev B. It is not smart going with Rev. A anything, whether it be a Mac or a Maserati. Plus, Rev. B should have the oh-so-sweet Montevia processors, and a better graphics card to boot. My prediction puts the revision somewhere between April and May, given that Montevina is not being released until "quarter two 2008" (ie: April-May-June). We might get lucky and have a mid-March revision, but for fiscal reasons I don't think Apple or Intel will release updates until the beginning of April.

    I have a three year old powerbook now, which is good for just about everything, but I want to get an iMac with bootcamp to play my old favorites (counterstrike, etc). With UT3 just around the corner, waiting for the quad core processors and the nicer card will make a lot of sense. Plus, the kinks will have been worked out by then. I have a strong feeling, in fact I know, that the next revision is going to be much more than a minor speed bump.
     
  25. jonswan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #25
    You've had pretty bad luck with 2 lemons in a row - I'd be spitting blood in your situation.

    But, my ALU iMac 20 inch is unfortunately perfect in every way. My eyesight is excellent and there are no colour gradient issues. It's perfectly quiet with a very faint hum. It's up to you whether to go first to the Mac Mini, but all Macs hold their value pretty well so that would be a good move, if the specs suit you. If I were you, I'd try the iMac one more time....
     

Share This Page