Subjective problem with new 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by imanidiot, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. imanidiot Suspended

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    May 1, 2011
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    Denver, CO
    #1
    I took delivery on a new 27" iMac the end of last week to replace my 4+ year 21.5", and after having lived with it for a few days I have discovered a personal difficulty which I'm not sure I can adjust to and may force me to return it while I'm still in the 14 day window, said difficulty being that the system fonts are simply too small, and there's no way to adjust them. I know you can change the resolution and I've tried that, but the result is not acceptable. I know you can zoom but that's not acceptable, either. Also, I find the gigantic (to me) screen a distraction, but I might adjust to that in time, but the font thing may be a deal breaker. I work with mostly text files, not video or photo editing, and I think that the big screen and enhanced resolution may ultimately make the otherwise wonderful machine more trouble than it's worth. After reading the quite different opinion of others on this board, I think I may be the only person on the planet who finds the 27" too much of a good thing, to the extent that it is counter-productive.
    I know this is only my impression. I may have to return it and order a 21.5" afterall.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    #2
    I hear you and I am interested to hear what others (who do not have the eye sight of teenagers) have to say. FWIW, I had the same issue and concern when I purchased my first iMac several years ago (I still own it). I was thrilled to get my new 27 inch iMac, but I spend lot of time with text files for work (even though I also use the computer for other things) and the text is small.

    I decided to keep the computer and I eventually learned to work around the issue. It's not perfect, but for me the extra screen size and ability to work with side by side files outweighed the inconvenience.

    For word files, i just adjust the font size in the program. Same thing for pdf files. When using the web, Command + or double tapping the magic mouse is my friend to zoom in to text. Sometimes there is a program that for some reason or another I can't adjust the size to my liking and in that case the reading glasses come out.

    Unless I am missing something all this time, it seems to be the price you pay for better resolution. I have a similar problem at work, but there I only have a 24 inch monitor, so the text is not quite as small.

    Good luck!
     
  3. imanidiot thread starter Suspended

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    #3
    Thanks so much for the input, I very much appreciate it.
    I'm a writer, I don't need multiple windows open side by side, so the extra screen real estate is wasted on me, and in fact is a distraction. I probably should have known it before ordering, but I guess I had to find out for myself. I did go to the Apple Store and compare the two sizes side by side, and decided that I could adjust, especially given the fact that the 27" model is a better machine overall---faster, better graphics, more user friendly, etc., and a better bang for the buck purchase---you know, I told myself that I'll get used to it. But what I failed to notice was TEXT SIZE, and that, for me, is what makes the 27" ultimately a poor choice, though it's the better choice in many other ways. Live and learn. I'm going to order a maxed 21.5 tomorrow, even though it is only a few dollars less than a bigger, faster, overall better machine. Life is strange.
     
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    Pa
    #4
    My dad has a 27" iMac, and I find it too large. You're not alone.
     
  5. imanidiot thread starter Suspended

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    #5
    Thank you.
     
  6. ra004e, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014

    ra004e macrumors regular

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    #6
  7. imanidiot thread starter Suspended

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    #7
    I went ahead and ordered a BTO 21.5" and have printed out the return shipping label for the 27" but have not yet sent it, and am already having second thoughts. This thing is making me crazy. Do I really want to send it back? Am I sure I won't be able to make the visual adjustment? I feel neurotic as hell. The 27" is a refurb (albeit perfect, my first experience with Apple refurb) and the new 21.5 will actually cost about $40 more. I literally feel like an mindless, confused idiot who's incapable of simply making a decision and living with it. Really, this is pathetic.
     
  8. WilliamG macrumors 604

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    I'd order the 21.5" and wait till it shows up, or go play with one at the store. The 21.5" is so, so tiny compared to the 27".
     
  9. imanidiot thread starter Suspended

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    #9
    Well, the thing is my current iMac is a 21.5", it's what I'm accustomed to. I have both machines sitting in front of me at this very moment, and I'm starting to think that the 27" is looking a little less excessive all the time. Or not?
    As I said, this thing is making me crazy.
     
  10. imanidiot thread starter Suspended

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    #10
    Neurotic update

    I just went to the online store and cancelled the 21.5". I've decided to give the big guy a couple of more days and see how I feel about it. I hate to give up the better graphics and speed and upgradable RAM for something lessor which will cost me MORE, it doesn't make any sense.
    I'll give myself a couple of days more to see if I am, in fact adapting. Or whether this enormous display/small text size will drive my 64 year old eyes blind.
    And, yes, compared to the 27" the 21.5 does seem tiny, so maybe I really am adapting.
     
  11. WilliamG macrumors 604

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Seattle
    #11
    The 27" does take getting a bit of getting used to, but after you - which you WILL, it makes everything else just look too small. The 21.5" is severely limited in terms of real estate.

    I do occasionally want things a tad bigger. However, with the Retina iMac it makes smaller text just THAT much sharper that it's much easier on my eyes, so there's something to consider there if you can afford it...

    As for the menu bars etc, - I don't interact with them a lot, but again - you'll get used to it. I do tend to make Safari text bigger, though, with mouse shortcuts.
     
  12. imanidiot thread starter Suspended

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    #12
    I really appreciate your input/advice. I still have another week to change my mind, so I want to give it/myself more time to form an opinion.

    Thanks again.
     
  13. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    Aug 6, 2007
    #13
    The recommended "Retina" setting is the same size as the old imac 27 and is very readable because of the better screen. To me, way more readable than the fuzzy (in comparison) 21" model. Any setting beyond "retina" is too small for my eyes.
     
  14. WilliamG macrumors 604

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    Seattle
    #14
    Don't forget, the grass is ALWAYS greener, and sometimes it really isn't. It's just that you have a shiny new toy, and then there's another shiny new toy you could be expectantly waiting for (the 21.5"). I'd stick with the one you have for now, no question.

    It's always a learning period with a new device-size you're not used to, but I think you'll come massively appreciate the extra room/resolution of the 27". :)
     
  15. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #15
    I'm interested to see what you decide. It's a longer term decision on an item that you presumably would prefer to keep for awhile, so it's understandable that you might be having some trouble deciding.

    I do suspect that you will get used to the display and come to prefer it, but everyone is different. If you ultimately feel that the 21 inch is better for you, then you shouldn't feel bad going that route. But spending some more time with what you have before making a decision is smart IMHO.
     
  16. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

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    Utah, USA
    #16
    I'm a fiction writer now and write on both my 27" iMac as well as my 13" rMBP. I mostly write in Scrivener. The size of the text in the window I'm writing in is easily adjusted to fit my comfort. Any writing program should have this capability. I'm 57. I don't have the vision I used to (thanks to umpteen years of college) but I recently got a pair of mid-range prescription lenses. They make working on my computers a breeze.
     
  17. sharon22 macrumors regular

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    Oct 19, 2014
    #17
    I am REALLY happy with my 21.5 inch. I wouldn't even consider getting a 27-inch screen. And, that would annoy the h*ll outta me if the fonts ended up smaller than what I am used to.

    The ONLY reason I'd go the 27" is because of the faster processor, faster graphics, but I wonder if the big hurkin' screen is gonna suck processing power so I be back to where I started from LOL.

    For me: 21.5inch ALL THE WAY!
     
  18. FredT2 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #18
    I'm sure you've discovered by now that the system font size is the same as the non-retina 27" and the 21.5". Maybe too sharp on the retina? But beyond that, you can change the font size quite easily by choosing a different resolution.
     
  19. pollycat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    #19
    Growing on me

    I've always used laptops and moved to the retina iMac, my first desktop system, from a retina MBP. I'm 46 years old with reasonable eyesight, only wear glasses occasionally.

    At first I recognised the screen was beautiful but way too big for me, the space overwhelmed me. I was also disturbed by how many things were smaller on the screen and how I had to scroll a long distance to reach the menubar or my favourites bar in Safari, etc.

    However, I've persisted and now, 10 days later, I've really gotten used to the new sizes and am loving this new machine, I didn't think I would at first.

    One thing that's helped me: on my MBP, I always had "Use LCD font smoothing when available" turned off and, on migrating to the iMac, this setting got carried over and made all fonts look too wispy and thin. Turning this setting back on and things look much clearer and sharper for me.

    I guess my point is: give it time to see if it will grow on you. During my first couple of days, it was too much of a shock, and I definitely thought I would return it. Now it's already grown on me enough that I know I'm going to keep it and enjoy it. Love having different information comfortably open side by side without feeling "hemmed in" by the screen size. And text really is sharp and clear.
     
  20. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #20
    Perhaps reading glasses will help. As we cross the 40 line, and beyond, our near vision tends to need an assist.
     
  21. robster14 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2014
    #21
    I'm very interested in this thread as I am about to pull the trigger on my first imac and I'm torn between the higher spec 21.5" and the lower 27". I change my mind on a daily basis and just need someone to make the decision for me!

    I currently use a PC with a 23"er so the smaller screen would be a downgrade but I can't get past the fact that up until a few years ago I watched TV on a 26" screen and I sat about 8 feet away! I feel that with the 27" it would be like watching a movie sat on the front row every day.

    Decisions.
     
  22. seroposi macrumors member

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    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Herts, UK
    #22
    I'd go for the 27" and just upgraded from my 21.5" which I felt was just that bit too small. Had there been a 24" I might have gone for that. Bear in mind, you're not looking at the whole 27" screen area all the time and the larger area enables more pages to remain open on the screen without having to keep minimising them perhaps. If you're watching i.e. a dvd then that might be a strain full screen so just adjust the play size accordingly.

    If you go for the 27" and find it too large you can always return it within 14days and exchange for a 21.5".

    Hope this helps.
     
  23. imanidiot thread starter Suspended

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    #23
    Further update

    For what it's worth, after having finally decided that I really DID like the 27" and was going to keep it, I got up yesterday morning and found myself staring at a dead pixel. It stood out like a sore thumb, so I called Apple and to make a long story short(er), I just got back from dropping it off at FedEx for the return trip. I'm going to reorder, but figure at this point I might as well wait until Black Friday to see if I can save a couple of bucks.

    But I did find myself adjusting to and preferring the larger display.
     
  24. Serban Suspended

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    Jan 8, 2013
    #24
    so it is need to be uncheck "Use LCD font smoothing..." ??it is by default check on my retina imac
     
  25. jasnw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    #25
    I moved to a 27" iMac several years ago and still dislike the fact that there are text strings on the screen from many sources that are too small and not adjustable. I have an old 24" iMac from work that I recently brought home and have done some side-by-side comparisons. Made me dislike the 27" even more.

    Bottom line is that I hope Apple brings back the 24" iMac at some point. If they don't, my next Mac is likely to be whatever the Mac Mini becomes with a third-party 24" display. I like the extra real estate with the 27" screen and the higher resolution, and if there was better control over various font sizes it would work for me.
     

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