iMac for Parents

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Vitr, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Vitr macrumors member

    Vitr

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I'm looking for (and would greatly appreciate) some buying advice for a new computer for the folks. Quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of random calls from my parents on how to work out issues/anomalies on their windows system (I live over 6000 km away). Given their vague knowledge of electronics, it's difficult to understand the issue, let alone talk them through the solution.

    My sister and I are considering a mini or 21.5" iMac. They already have an old Dell 22" LCD monitor which is fine, but for what comes on the system the iMac appears to have more value considering you have to buy peripherals for the mini and iMacs are more prevalent in the refurb store. However, their use is very light.

    Ideally this will last them ~3-4 years, so any suggestions on the type would be great, and also any personal experience with refurbished products.
     
  2. ijessicaeamie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    #2
    Purchased RFB iMac yesterday

    Hi There :)

    I have the very same problem, my Mum complains constantly about our old computer that I got fed up with it!

    I've read so many great reviews, and a few not so great about refurbished iMac's but I took the plunge and for £100 cheaper and a better specification got a 21.5" It has just been dispatched today and should arrive within the next few days. Whenever I get it I will let you know the condition of the iMac and if I have any problems, although I am very apprehensive! :)
     
  3. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #3
    They probably already have peripherals for their computer they could reuse with a mini. So I would recommend a mini for their usage it should be powerful enough until something breaks years from now. If their usage is light the only reason for the iMac over the mini is to get a monitor with it but you said they already have that.
     
  4. MacHamster68, Dec 10, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #4
    i too would go for the mini , as they already have monitor keyboard, mouse , and dell monitors are quiet good for general use even if years old , ok you could probably make use of the existing monitor as second display for the iMac, but maybe a second display would already be overkill for your parents, it really depends what they use the computer for , on the other hand because of the ilife apps they may find even more use for the iMac then they do now on the win pc , so they might fancy a second display soon and it really comes down to money too , the base 21.5 iMac offers more value for money then the mini really, but if they maybe want to use the computer with their tv eventually the mini is easier to hide , for the iMac you definitely would need space next to the tv, and the mini is so easy to transport , so during the day in the "office" and in the evening just connect to the tv in the living room to watch some movies...saves the extra dvd player and such
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    When my father was 87 I bought him an iMac. It solved the support problems, and iChat was great for remote access.
     
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #6
    I would have said refurbished iMac BUT when you're over forty the very high resolution = small pixels of the iMac might be a problem. Check out what the resolution of the 22" monitor is. Then get a Mac Mini and because it's Christmas add an Apple keyboard and magic mouse.

    And iChat allows screen sharing so that should help fixing problems from a long distance away.
     
  7. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #7
    I would suggest the iMac over the mini for the simple fact that it has one plug that they have see all of their lives and one button on the machine.

    Maintenance and use is super easy compared to Windows and you/they will not have to worry about viruses, pop-ups and pop-unders that just bring inexperienced users to a halt.

    If you can swing the price, a 21" i3 would be ideal and you would be the best child in the world. A Macbook would do the trick as well pending their eyes would be ok with a 13" screen.

    troutspinner
     
  8. Vitr thread starter macrumors member

    Vitr

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    Thanks to everyone for their input! Haha it seems I'm not the only one who's encountered this. For their use, I'm talking more email, news websites, etc. Pretty basic stuff. Of course they don't intentionally visit sketchy websites, but viruses have definitely been a problem in the past. They have a webcam already, so integration of that into the iMac is not a major concern. The base-mini has 2 Gb of ram. Anyone think that could be an issue?

    That's a very good point regarding resolution. Their current monitor has 1650 x 1050, and the desk is also very large, placing the monitor a reasonable distance away. The res of the 21.5" may be a bit too much.
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    2GB would be fine. Another poster mentioned the absence of wires in the iMac. I, too, found that a plus. Various plugs were always falling out on the PC.
     
  10. crzdcolombian macrumors 6502a

    crzdcolombian

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #10
    I was in the same boat 2 years ago my brother and me both have macs and my parents are how do you put it stupid when it comes to computers. They had a crappy 300 dollar emachine that they got 2 years prior and for X-mas my brother and I got them a imac. They still call with questions but love it, they find it very easy to use and the base model basically perfect for people who won't really need heavy usage for it.

    I suggest what ever the cheapest imac is with Mac 1 to 1 if they would actually use it. If not then don't waste the $100 bucks. The computer should last them a very long time. If you have a wireless router then the imac only has 1 cable to plug the screen in and thats about it and looks way better than having a dell monitor with a mac mini

    1 to 1 is cool as the people in the mac store teach them how to use it as well as other programs on the computer and for $100 bucks its a great value.
     
  11. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #11
    Personally I would go with the iMac it is less of a headache for computer illiterates to set up than trying to use old peripherals. Though they already have a keyboard and mouse they could use PS/2 ports and the mouse could even still use a ball:eek:. They may also have to buy a Minidisplayport to VGA adapter. Even if the monitor has DVI most older PC's and many new ones only have VGA and the DVI cable gets lost.

    The 4GB RAM and 3.06 Ghz Core i3 will be faster and should also outlast the 2GB RAM and 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo. Not to mention the faster hard drive in the iMac. Plus if they were adventurous that 22" could make an excellent second display on the iMac.

    Just make sure their printer is compatible with Snow Leopard. Also that they have a back up hard drive.
     
  12. Heath macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    I was in the same situation with my mother and my sister. They both ended up with 20" iMacs and I installed Teamviewer on them so I can remotely fix the stuff when it does go wrong.

    Number of calls from my sister has dropped to 0, and I get maybe 3 calls a year from my mom.

    Seems to have worked for me.
     
  13. House Whisperer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    #13
    Bought my folks iMac

    base model. They're in mid-late 60's, had been using a 7-year old HP that took 11 minutes to open aol.

    They love the iMac, but still need some help. I found that screen-sharing through iChat allows me to fix most things much more quickly than trying to explain.

    Couldn't get them to switch away from aol, though. What can you do.
     
  14. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #14
    no brainer...the 21.5 imac

    -all in one...plug in and use
    -4 gig of ram/500 gig hd/ati 4670.... overall better speed (rem lion is coming)
    -wireless keyboard/mouse
     
  15. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Bay Area, Ca.
    #15
    Find a screamer iMac deal. Nobody likes using a crappy old keyboard/mouse/monitor anyway XD

    (Except those with really nice ones)
     
  16. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #16
    The best luck I have had with getting people away from AOL. Is showing them how they can get all their AOL e-mail through Thunderbird or other e-mail app. Moving contacts takes a bit more work using gmail as a temporary buffer for exporting the contacts. Moving favorites requires paying for a program to export them or manually adding them to another browser.

    But if you can do all the legwork. The AOL user is usually happy to make the switch to a faster solution that does not require them losing everything they built up in AOL.
     
  17. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #17
    For my parents I went one up from base iMac with 1Tb HDD.

    I wanted something for them that would not run out of space.

    Also considered mini, but steered away; crappy old screen + keyboard..? Nah, new computer should have a slick smooth operability. Also thought external web can just another thing that might cause issues.

    Go iMac. Highly recommend
     
  18. filfortugno macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    #18
    basic 21.5" should be fine, either way you're stuck with an aging core2duo but at least you get reliability in the imac.
     

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