Suggestions for entry level setup

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by svenn, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. svenn macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2010
    I'm looking for suggestions for a basic Apple system for a senior citizen, used mainly for light email/web browsing on a dial up connection. A nice large and clear monitor tops the 'must have' list. I was leaning towards an iMac only for the form factor, but it is way too expensive and too powerful. Now I'm thinking a used Mac Mini and picking up a decent monitor to go along, hopefully staying somewhere near the $500 range for everything. (side note - does $700 for a new mini seem high to anyone else?)

    My questions-
    Would any particular model better fit these needs? Do all Mac Minis support the usb modem?
    What's a good monitor for old, tired eyes?
    Do you have other suggestions?
  2. samywamy10 macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi Svenn,
    You'll be hard pressed to find a Mac Mini AND monitor for under $500, and if screen size is an issue I'd at least go with 22". Can I ask why you want a Mac? For your price range there are many option in the PC world that would suit you better than a Mac Mini.
  3. svenn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2010
    Mac is preferred mainly for ease of use. I realize the budget will be restrictive, although it's not a firm limit, but it seems like a waste to spend too much more on something that will get relatively light use.
  4. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Hi svenn,

    If ease of use is the primary objective then stretching to the iMac will be well worth it. Not only do you get the simplicity of Apple software that way, but also the entire hardware package.

    The current iMac line is stunning, the best Apple have ever produced. Get the base model and it'll last you a long, long time.
  5. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    You're better off with the iMac 21.5inch base model.

    If you're looking for monitors, I'd suggest you to get Samsung ones. They're fairly good and inexpensive. They must be sufficient for an old person.
  6. svenn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2010
    The imac just seems a bit overkill, any other suggestions?
    And am I just missing it, or is there not a classifieds forum here?
  7. ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2010
    I would get the biggest monitor you can afford. Display quality is obviously not an issue here and (crappy) big monitors can be bought cheaply these days even from new. (And couple it with a 2nd-user Mac Mini)
    One of OSX's few failings IMO is the inability to scale system fonts so you might want to try running the monitor below native res. Yes, it will look pants, but I think being able to see the text, etc. is a higher priority.
  8. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    there is, however you have to have a certain post count to use it. I would look on ebay for an older Core 2 Duo mini, however with $500 it's not going to be too easy to find, when you include the monitor.
  9. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    2nd hand mini or imac. if you need big letters on the screen perhaps go for an older monitor with a lower resolution. Albeit, on 22" it should be all big enough for gran & gran.
  10. RUGERMAN macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    Used imac

    Take a look on Ebay. They have 20" Imacs in your price range.
  11. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    An older white used iMac would be best. Much simpler to deal with than a mini plus separate display. Try to find a 24" model.

    I switched my father to an iMac from a PC when he was 87. It solved most of my "support problems". It's worth the cost. He had no trouble viewing the screen but didn't like the keyboard (the current aluminum design) so I bought him a cheap plastic one!
  12. MacHamster68, Feb 7, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i would go for a 20inch iMac core duo 2.0ghz (2006model ), already overkill for the tasks ahead ,but you might just find a example that fits in the budget , the equivalent (same processor and age ) mini's cost normally the same here in the uk without monitor
    and a new mini is already over budget +apple keyboard + a mouse +even with a not so good monitor of that size will bring you close to the price of a refurb iMac 21.5
  13. svenn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2010
    Thanks for the tips.
    Will all imacs and minis be compatible with a usb modem for dial-up access?
  14. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
  15. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009
    It may be overkill but remember that is what will also make your Mac last longer and not need replacing. A newer, more expensive, Mac will outlive a used one that is cheaper.

    They are powerful because they last longer!

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