HELP| Please list ALL disadvantages of iMac 21.5'

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sammmu, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. sammmu macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2010
    Hey all.

    I really want to go in for an iMac and the 21.5' one suits me. But, as I started reading some reviews of the machine, I realized that it has some disadvantages too.

    As of now, what's really troubling me is the fact that some people complain about the short battery life of Magic mouse and the keyboard. Is that true? I read somewhere that a person was able to stretch the battery life to 18 months.

    As far as my needs are concerned, here they are:
    -Some graphics design
    -Web design
    -Watch movies (a lot)
    -Listen music (a lot)
    -Play heavy games occasionally
    -Heavy web surfing

    The machine I am looking at is configured like this:
    21.5-inch: 3.06GHz
    3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    1920 x 1080 resolution
    4GB memory
    500GB hard drive
    8x double-layer SuperDrive
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
    Approx: $1300

    Considering the price, I would really like to know about the disadvantages of the machine.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    really bad hardware for the price, i think it might be overpriced by 30-40%
  3. allmIne macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2008
    United Kingdom
    How thin was the air you plucked that figure from?

    Source plz?
  4. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
  5. phoobo macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2008
    the dell is a full-sized desktop

    That dell is a big ol'box, dude. The iMac is an all-in-one. How bout comparing computers in the same category?

    There is always a premium for miniaturization.
  6. NJuul macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    And it still looks like crap, requires an extra screen with a ton of wires attached, and it runs windows.

    If you want to do a comparison with a Dell, then at least choose a machine that has a similar consumer target, e.g.

    What you picked is more like a 90's style beefed up mini. And despite it's superior horsepower at the same price I'd still pick the mini, even if we disregard the OS issue. Because the mini is pretty.

    Sorry for being off-topic..
  7. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    That GPU sucks. It's better than 9400M but still sucks. You can't compare AIO and tower, they don't fight in the same category.

    @OP: If you play heavy games, 9400M will be a bottleneck and driving you to play at low settings to get acceptable frame rates. I would get 27" iMac with 4850 or just build a PC because you get faster hardware for less and that's important in games
  8. phoobo macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2008
  9. The Hammer macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    What about the 21" with the discrete graphics card?
  10. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Hmmm.. Good point. Even though 4670 isn't high-end card, it performs quite well. Gaming performance is about the same with 21" & 4670 and with 27" & 4850 when running at native res.
  11. sammmu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2010
    Ok peeps, don't fight. And, gaming ain't important. I just need the Mac to be criticized by it's users to the core.
  12. NJuul macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    Sorry :)

    It is kind of like a laptop in the sense that you cannot upgrade the hardware when it becomes old it in a few years time. You pretty much have to buy a new computer. Even replacing the memory can be troublesome, and don't try to upgrade the hard drive unless you really know what you are doing. I would therefore get one with as large a hard drive as possible, so you avoid having an external standing on your desk for as long as possible.

    That is the main issues for, but besides that it is a pretty and clean design, and it is fast enough for all but the most demanding users.
  13. Guiguiga macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2009
    Ft. Lauderdale - FL
    Dude, if you are thinking about playing heavy games even if it´s occasionally, you´re looking at the wrong machine. You can´t do much with the 9400M graphics card. For everything else you´ll have no problems at all.
  14. glasscity macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2010
    If you're looking to play heavy games, your best bet is to build the computer yourself with the parts you want. It'll be cheaper for you, and you'll have a much more powerful machine.

    I have an imac though, and I love it. I don't do heavy gaming, but everything I do do with it, it does perfectly and flawlessly.
  15. KevKaos macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2006
    Baltimore, Maryland USA
    For what my opinion is worth, considering I am a Mac noob who just got a refurbed 21.5 with the 4670 card, it is quite a good machine for me. I switched over from a life of PCs. I pretty much gave up on PC gaming, because you constantly find yourself upgrading graphics cards and the like to get that best image on screen. As far as games go, I stick to my 360 and the boys PS3. Buying both of those is probably still cheaper than all the money I spent on constant upgrades. Luckily, I still have my not so old PC, at least until I let my techie wife turn it into a household server and Raid controller.

    Glasscity above has hit the nail on the head for this one IMHO.
  16. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    If you buy cheap batteries, any wireless device will eat them. I use rechargeable batteries with no worries. I don't like putting batteries in a land fill!
  17. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
  18. RebootD macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Glass screen? Figure out if you have a dark corner to stick this thing in first or buy a black Snuggie. ;)
  19. sammmu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2010
    Please also comment on the initial battery life of mouse.
  20. easepease macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2010
    WEll it may be a bit more money, but for gaming and other things I have a few computers.

    Im getting a 27 inch imac for my photo editing and daily work, cause it is stable and pleasent to work on. Second I have a macbook pro that is 4 years old, but iwll replace it when they get updates, this I use just for classes, notes, overseas travel and the like. I have always had mac laptops because they are so stable, and i realy like the metal bodies just feels solid and ruggid, I once dropped a 12 inch power book from 6 feet up off a bookshelf, and it worked fine for 3 more years!!!

    Lastly I built my own computer. It was overall only $500 for an i5 quad core, Geforce 9600 with 1 Tb of dedicated memory, 4 gb ddr3 ram, and a 1 TB seagate drive. I got windows 7 for free through my school whcih saved me a lot, and thats it. It crashes maybe once a month... which would get annoying if it was used for work, but its a gaming machie, and really i use it 10 times more than my PS3... it is that good!!! i always have built my own machines, but really for work or important modelling for school ( environmental engineer) you just cant rely on windows... but for gaming it is the way to go!

    Oh yea and DJing, you just cant do that on windows... so mac laptops are the way to go :)
  21. iluvgr8tdeals macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2009
    Vertical lines issue

    Just wanted to chime in, even though this thread is old.

    I have an older Imac (17' Intel Core 2 Duo # 1195) that I bought 3 years ago and it developed the dreaded vertical lines issue. The problem makes viewing the desktop unpleasant, and with each successive day, the lines increase and develop into blocks or skyscrapers, preventing you from viewing some or most parts of the screen and even shutting down the computer by clicking on the top left-hand side.

    Apple has never really acknowledged this issue, and they fix some customers' screens and not some. If your computer is less than 1 year old, they can fix it under the manufacturers' warranty, and if you have the Apple 3 year protection plan, then it shall get fixed if less than 3 years old. Most of the screens start the lines issue just after 3 years, which falls outside the 3 year Apple protection plan. In addition, a lot of customers who had their screens replaced under the protection plan or out of pocket reported that the lcd screens failed after a while.

    Since these Imac computers cost over $1,000, anybody who has these lines issues feels frustrated, since they feel that a 3 year old computer should not have such problems, especially after paying $1,000 +.

    This screen has to be replaced if you want to use the Imac as you bought it. If you are lucky to have it replaced by Apple free of charge, then you have dodged a bullet. Replacing it out of pocket costs about $550 or more from Apple, a quote given to me when I went to the Apple store. There is also the snobbish reception by the Apple 'Geniuses' when you take your machine in, surrounded by new shiny imacs machines (the sort of reception you get at the mechanic autoshop while wheeling in your old clunker while customers gleam at the new models on display. If that does not bother you, the option of either forking out $550+ or using their advice of buying an external monitor and using the Imac as the CPU, which defeats the purpose of the reasons you bought the Imac for, aesthetics, space saving and the 'all in one machine' advantage. If you can do it yourself, then you can shop for the lcd screen, but opening up the computer and replacing parts might not be for everyone. Used parts can be scrounged off ebay,but that is rolling the dice. The used parts might be pulled off from machines that have failed or are about to fail...

    This is what I would recommend; if you must, buy the machine, but know that the Imac is out of commission as long as something happens to it. A better option would be to buy the Apple LED Cinema Display which has the camera (or other display of your choice) and then buy the Mac mini or Mac Pro. This way, you separate the screen from the CPU and the failure of one does not mean the 'failure' of the other.

    I hope this helps.
  22. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    well i own this exact model I'm typing on it right now (albeit with an upgraded 8GB of RAM)

    The main negatives are:
    - difficulty accessing the hard drive (like all iMacs)
    - poor graphics performance. i don't game much on my iMac at all but the 9400m has issues with even 2D games (such as Osmos) and even some animated screensavers. I did try Battlestar Gallactica online but it was just too jerky to be enjoyable.
    - If your doing a lot of web surfing and lots of multitasking the 4GB just isn't sufficient (although the situation would be the same for any Mac, its easy to add more and this model has a 16GB limit)
    - Lack of a video input (the 27' late 09 model had one)

    Regarding the battery life on your Bluetooth peripherals. i get around 30-40 days each for the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad (with the iMac switched on 24/7) The keyboard lasts a fair while longer, more like 2-3 months.

    I do agree with the earlier post stating that price of $1300 (or £800) is ridiculously overpriced. Being the last Core 2 Duo based iMacs the resell values model dropped like a stone as soon as the next revision came out, nowadays the model your looking at is more like £500ish in the UK (or around $800 with accessories)

    Hope that helps
  23. sammmu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2010
    Just wanted to tell everyone, that I am now a Mac owner for 1.5 years... SO maybe, this thread can be locked.

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