Trying To Decide Between The 21 And 27 Inch Imac Model

Discussion in 'iMac' started by beeinformed, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. beeinformed macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2010

    I wear glasses and would like some feedback/advice on whether the 21 inch and/or the 27 inch imac model would be better for reading text.

    I would be using the imac computer to also edit and store photos, do research and write documents, view videos, listen to music, check e-mail,etc.

    I am interested in the higher end 21 inch model and I3/I5 27 inch model.

    Thanks in advance for your help! :)
  2. SB123 macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2010
    South Jersey
    I have the 21 inch and use it mainly for internet, email, photos, etc. It is plenty big. If you are using it on a desk and won't be using it for watching videos, the 21 incher is fine.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I think you should go and see them in person. It's quite hard to say what's better for your eyes as we all have different set of eyes. If you can, go with the 27", you won't regret it
  4. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    I agree 100%. If there is any way to go and see a 27" first, do it. The 21 is plenty big for an average desk, the 27" can be over whelming.
  5. wilhelmreems macrumors member

    May 25, 2010
    i was in the same boat as the OP and i went for the 21.5 inch.

    I took some measurements, taped some paper together in the display size of each monitor and put it on my desk. 27", although nice, was way too big and wouldn't fit. once i put the measurements in my home i realized just how big each monitor is. Don't go just by the impression you get in the apple store.

    At least in the ones i have visited, the 27 and 21.5 were on seperate sides of the store so that you can't compare them side to side to get a feel of how big they actually are.
  6. lee14160 macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2009
    Fruitland, Idaho
    Go with the 27. It would be better for your eyes, and just think of the "Braggin' Rights" you will have. ;)
  7. citizenal macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2010
    Another vote for the 27". Sometimes I have trouble reading the text, so I bought the magic trackpad to navigate pages and to easily pinch out to expand. I know there is a command plus button on your keyboard to do it, but the trackpad is just so easy. :)
  8. jwpoore macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Sheffield, England
    ive got the 21" one after debating like you are doing. Ultimately i went with the 21" because of the £££ so if u have the money to get the 27 u should go for it! (although make sure it fits on your desk!) Good Luck :- )
  9. malnar macrumors 6502a


    Aug 20, 2008
    I was trying to decide between the 21 and 27 as well and decided to check them out in person. I knew the 27 was big but it really hit me when I saw it in person. I positioned myself as close to how I would sit at home to really get the effect of being at my desk with it and it was just overwhelming. It's a beautiful monitor and all, but I could not imagine dealing with that much screen staring down at me all the time. Combined with the amazing resolution, it is, as I said, overwhelming. The 21 just felt right. I'll be doing general stuff but also Photoshop and Illustrator work. While I could make use of all that desktop space the 27 offered, I just didn't like the feeling of that huge screen. And I'll make use of my Ipad as a small sub-monitor with Air Display for palettes and other little things.
  10. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I have a 24" from 2008, and I looked at a 27" in the Apple store but felt it was simply too overwhelmingly big for me. If I was trying to watch movies on it a lot I would go for 27" now I guess, but I'm putting off buying another iMac for a while.
  11. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2006
    NC, USA
    As mentioned, you need to look. I went to the Apple Store to get the 21.5". I sat in front of the two and the wife prodded me into getting the 27". After some time working with it, I was happy to pass on the 21.5" i really WANT a 24" like I have at work. That is the sweet spot for me and many others.
  12. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    24" is really a sweet spot for using at a desk. 27 is overwhelming.
  13. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    I have just bought the 21.5" and when i got it home it seemed really big! I couldn't even imagine the 27". haha
  14. Nishi100, Nov 25, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010

    Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2010
    Ignoring the space issue.

    If you have you computer *very* near to you get the 21.5 .

    If you normally have you computer quite far from you go for the 27 inch; as, have I have learnt, if you have a big monitor and sit quite close to it, you end up looking like you watching a tennis match. It took me about 3 weeks to get use to sitting back from my computer; however, I don't have a fantastic vision, but my glasses aren't under-corrected - they are exact - or exact which is physically possible - and I can see small text.

    (And if you sit far back enough, it almost looks likes the iPhone 4's "retina" display, but that might be because of the beautiful brightness and contrat on the iMac's display [I have the 27inch ACD; however, it is almost the same as the iMac's display.])

    TTITA: In the Apple store, it looks massive and you think: "How is that going to fit on my desk?" However, when you buy it and take it home, it fits perfectly, in my case.
  15. solman macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2006
    Well said

    I agree. At Best Buy etc. you notice that almost 90% of their monitors are 23-24 inches. So, in today's market, Apple is perhaps outdated and hopefully will bump the 21 inch up to the magic 24 inch sweetspot that we all WANT!!
  16. unixfool macrumors 6502a

    Jan 21, 2006
    Northern VA
    I went to the local Apple Store before purchasing my 27", as I was torn betwen the 21 and the 27. I immediately gravitated toward the 27" and left with one.

    A visit should settle things.
  17. garcia2ko macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2010
    First post and should do into, but I'll save that...

    I agree you need to look at the two in person. I ordered a 27" the other day, but dad encouraged me to look at them in person at Best Buy. Was shocked how big the 27" was (coming from a person who has four standard monitors at work) and realized it just wouldn't fit at my home desk with cabinet above.

    Quickly changed order to 21" and it will be plenty big for me. :)

    Check 'em out first.
  18. lowonthe456 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    I'd get the 21.5" but I just wish it could be mounted. Sounds like only the 27" can be mounted :(
  19. vixducis macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    I went for the 27 incher and haven't regretted it for a single moment. In fact, it's the aspect I love the most about my imac. It's not just the screen size, it's the resolution. You can run 3 programs simultaneously, it's wonderful.
  20. moderately macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    Been real happy with the 20.5 all these years. Could only imagine a bigger screen if i was living in photoshop.
  21. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    I wear glasses (near sighted) and have no problem with using my 27" imac. It helps to push it to the back of the desk.

    Both computers will handle all of these tasks like a champ. But keep in mind, with the screen real estate of the 27" it makes multi tasking much easier by being able to have multiple items up on the page simultaneously. For example, you could be doing research on half the monitor & writing the paper on the other half, without having to flip between applications to get/read info.

    If you don't find yourself multitasking/task juggling much, then a 27" imac will leave you with a lot of empty/unused workspace.
  22. Merthyrboy macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2008
    Could use spaces to multi task better if you go for the 21.5" I bought one few months ago and either machine you buy will be fantastic.
  23. wordbit macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2010
    Depends what you're used to. The native resolution is quite high on both the 21 and 27-inch. I also wear glasses and got the 27-inch thinking I might have to adjust the resolution, but it's actually not that bad. And you really appreciate the extra screen real estate - especially when working with photos and video. Of course, it's always best to check both out in person as others here are suggesting.
  24. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    friend has 21", too small for me.
    I have/had a 24", perfect for me.

    I have/had a 27" at I upgraded to 27" from my 24".

    I dont regret it, the more space the better...I thought 27" was gonna be too much but using it at work changed my mind.

    Though if your desk and space wont allow a 27", try to find a 24" the one I am selling in the marketplace.... :p

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