Why an iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by andy06, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. andy06, Feb 17, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012

    andy06 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2012
    I'm considering a gift for parents and was going to buy a Notebook without much thought to a desktop (last used a desktop half a decade ago) and so I thought they might worth a revisit.

    Thing is, when I think of desktops, I think cheap(er), configurable (upgrades) and modular (change a screen without having to change the tower).

    The iMac removes all those things! Its neither cheap, not as configurable or modular (As say a Pro). So what is it exactly that got you to purchase one? And did you regret it or find something pleasantly surprising about it?

    Do you think its worth purchasing as opposed to a Notebook+Display for primarily fixed location use?

    Thanks :)

    EDIT: I should clarify, I'm looking for form factor related unique advantages/disadvantages. The internals are more than sufficient and folks are tech literate too. So mainly why All-in-one vs Desktop or Notebook or Ultrabook (Air included) or Tablet
  2. ZMAN Z28 macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    Yes the iMac is high priced. I bought my first Mac two weeks a go today (MBA). I love it, and started to look at what Apple had available for my desktop. I saw the iMac and liked how clean it is. I especially like the fact that it is difficult to upgrade. I've been builing my own computers since the 486 DX days. I just want a computer that I have to turn on, and it works, and works fast. I used to get into Windows to tweak every little detail to make my machine faster, and then back it down to make it stable. Don't want to do that any more either. I want to get home, turn on my computer and be on the internet in less than 45 seconds. To accomplish this on my Windows machine, I have to wait over 5 minutes to be able to reliably get on the internet and click something. My MBA I'm on the internet in 20-25 seconds (thats with me typing in my password). I timed an iMac in the Apple store without a SSD, and I was on the internet in 40 seconds from shutdown (no password). I ordered my iMac 2 nights a go, and pick it up at the Apple store on the 29th.
  3. wilsonjm macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    hi, there are so many answers to this, and many of them are based on subjective opinions. but the relevant answer, considering it is for your parents (who I assume are not computer-savvy) is that if you buy a PC notebook plus monitor you will spend a lot of time fixing issues for them (this is just inherent to Windows and is based on my experience of using them plus having non computer-savvy parents).

    Macs, while far from perfect, do not cause the same headaches.

    You could buy a MacBook Air and monitor but that would probably be more expensive than other ultra book/monitor combos you might be looking at.

    My recommendation, and I will be doing this for my mum at some point, is buy the entry level (21.5") iMac. None of you will regret it.

    The only thing I would say if you go this route, is bear in mind the ongoing OSX Lion wi-fi issue. I get around it by using an ethernet cable until Apple fix the issue.



    oh, and no I did not regret my purchase (27" iMac). it is wonderful, especially with the SSD option.
  4. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008

    Its screen size (27"), the quad core CPU and its noiselessness were the reasons why I bought my 2009 iMac i5. And at that time I still thought I would be spending more time at my home DESK than I actually do. As it turned out, a large notebook would have been more useful and MUCH more versatile for me than the iMac is. At the moment, the iMac is mostly used to play back movies.

    Would I buy it again? I doubt it. It has some compatibility issues with Linux - which is an issue for me - and a notebook would be more useful.
  5. inscrewtable macrumors 68000


    Oct 9, 2010

    Compared to what? How much is your life worth?

    As a friend of mine once said... "I can't afford to buy cheap shoes"
  6. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    I bought a refurbished iMac for my parents several years ago and it's still humming along fine for them. All-in-one unit means less components for them to deal with, lots less cords, one-button access. It's so much easier for them, and thus for me. --And saving money by getting a refurbished iMac is pretty nice too, so you can't really say an iMac is more expensive. :)
  7. yashi macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2011
    It has the cleanliness and clutter-free aspect of a laptop, but with a large premium display, all wrapped in an attractive design.

    I don't think it's as highly-priced as people are making it out to be in this thread. A similar display as the 27" is $900-1000 if you buy it through Dell or some other company, and the mouse and keyboard are $140 if you buy them separately.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, an iMac is a perfectly sufficient desktop computer with a footprint of a computer monitor. And for what you get (a premium monitor, ultra-compact aluminium case, wifi bluetooth, infrared, a decent webcam, wifi keyboard and mouse), its also more than reasonably priced. You won't be able to build a custom PC with the same components on the same footprint.

    I would give up my iMac instantly for an improved Mac Cube though.
  9. dreilly1982 macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2011
    Or for the same price for that matter!
  10. karmamule macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2008
    Waltham, MA
    If you can target a fixed set of usages that aren't going to change (much) over time, then the entry level iMac is a great choice. It's perfect for most parents because their needs are predictable: browsing, e-mail, maybe videochat, music & photos, and perhaps the occasional dabble with simple games or iMovie. The only caveat is portability, but in exchange for that you get a MUCH larger screen (easy for older eyes!), better sound, and sturdier build.

    If they have a more demanding set of uses (more gaming or video editing, design work, coding, music creation, etc.) then a higher level iMac can still be a good choice if you have a good grasp on the demands they'll make, and can be relatively well assured that the more expensive and/or built-to-order iMac will handle it.

    You can buy cheaper alternatives that from a performance point-of-view may match an equivalent iMac, but you will end up with lesser quality elsewhere, either in build, display quality, noise (sometimes a VERY important consideration!), etc.

    You'll still have easy options for upgrades on the key areas of RAM and storage space. VERY few people ever upgrade their CPU, and only hardcore gamers or those doing intense graphics care to upgrade their video card, so as long as your parents don't fall in those categories then the upgradeability of the iMac should be sufficient.

    My Dad is in his 80's and he inherited my white G4 iMac, and it has served him well for over 4 years with almost no questions or problems. (And this is the same man who couldn't figure out why his mouse pointer was moving in reverse until I told him to *turn his mouse around*.)

    I just got a new maxed-out BTO iMac, and it is fantastic. I highly recommend them with that one caveat of portability: if that is something your parents desire, then do strongly consider something else, but otherwise the iMac is an excellent choice.
  11. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Form factor, fit, finish, PERFORMANCE and the added Real Estate I acquired as the result !

    Power Mac/Mac Pro with monitor takes up so much desk / work space. I have owned them in the past.

    Regrets, NO !
    Pleasantly surprised? This is my third iMac so I knew what to expect, it meets or exceeds all expectations.

    YES !!!

    Did you know an iMac is more portable than a laptop and external display?

    For your parents consideration I think they would appreciate the aesthetics of an iMac over a notebook and external display. ( not that this should matter .... but for many, it does )
  12. hchavarria macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2008
    Bought my iMac as a desktop replacement with no regrets, love the form factor. I needed a stationary machine which is why I quickly discarded a laptop with a separate monitor I just had no use for that portability.
  13. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I bought my parents an iMac and it was the best investment in time I ever made.

    I literally went from lots of support calls each week while they had their Windows machine, to zero once I got them a Mac and I bought them their Mac 3 years ago.
  14. macmastersam macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2011
    Essex, england
    then get a macbook pro or air?
  15. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    we bought my parents a Mac Mini.
    It is tiny and they can still use their small monitor and upgrade that thing soon.

    An iMac is more expensive but I like mine a lot for its all-in-one style.
    bigger, better screen.
  16. captrc macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2012
    OSX Lion wi-fi issue??

    "The only thing I would say if you go this route, is bear in mind the ongoing OSX Lion wi-fi issue. I get around it by using an ethernet cable until Apple fix the issue."

    Can you elaborate on this? I just got my IMac.
  17. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010


    I've got a mid-2010 iMac (fixed desk system) and I also have a Windows HP laptop 17.3" (portable system). IMO - The iMac is great for Multimedia, like photos, movies, active typing spell checking, iTunes. Amazing multi-media tool. For my laptop, I use it for "portablity". On the sofa, on the kitchen island, at the kitchen table, in my garage, doing emails, doing surfing, etc. etc. For "use anyware in or near the house", portable is an amazing tool.

    Knowing what I know today, the desktop (iMac or Windows) is the last fixed desk position I'll ever buy. With today's wireless G/N fast speeds, today's stronger batteries, today's wireless printers, todays wireless data backup systems (or palm size USB backup HDDs), there's really no need for a desktop system. Especially for the "typical" home user of File, print, surfing, emails, downloading, Word Processing, etc..

    To decide for yourself, suggest answering the 1st question. Do you want MacOS or Windows? Then the second questions of "do you need portability"? When these are answered, ask the final question of "what screen size do you need"? Once these base questions are answered, one can then decide on fixed desktop system (or portable) and if one wants a portable + fixed postion llarge size monitor (where they plug a laptop into).

    If wondering, my next system will only be a portable. And, I'll have a desk to allow the connection of 24" monitor. When a larger screen is needed, I simply connect and use. But most of the time, it will be used as a portable. Especially for home typical home user tasks - where portability is high needs.

    Hope this helps in your research...

  18. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    As I grow older I start to appreciate things more. The design, integration, innovation.

    If I was walking into an Apple store and another PC maker offered me their top of the range PC i'd turn them down and spend the money on a Mac.
  19. karmamule macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2008
    Waltham, MA
    Spike88 makes some good points, but I think my solution to that is going to be my iMac plus an iPad 3. When I use something "on the go" it's almost always just for e-mail/browsing/news/light gaming, and I think an iPad will, at least for me, work much better than a laptop.

    When I want to get into heavy duty content creation, coding, whatever, then my lovely iMac awaits. :D
  20. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Yeah I am curious about that as well.

    I just bought a brand new 27" iMac two days ago and we have three separate Wi-Fi networks here. I can connect with any of the three, including the hokey experimental one with ZERO issues. Three different wireless routers, none of which are Apple.

    My Guess: He is referring to something some were experiencing early on and is no longer a problem, or was not really one to begin with
  21. wilsonjm macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    The issue is that for some users Lion drops the wi-fi connection after a period of time. A related issue is losing the wi-fi connection after the Mac has woken from sleep. It does not affect Snow Leopard and for those like me who use Bootcamp it does not affect Windows either.

    If you check the forums, you will see lots of posts about the issues. Obviously not everyone is affected and I have no idea of the numbers involved but judging by the amount of posts (check the Apple Support Community too) it has affected many people.

    There are lots of workarounds suggested which have worked for some people and not for others (they did not work for me).

    As I said, I am just using a cable rather than wi-fi which is not an issue as the router is close enough.


    oh, and it still is an issue on 10.7.3.

    And I have a fritz box router. But considering wi-fi works perfectly in Windows 7 using Bootcamp, it is not a router issue.
  22. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Did you try to change the 'Location' in System Preferences->Network pane trick to see if that helps?
  23. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008

    Interesting, well I brought my 27" iMac home three days ago and it has be turned on since that time. Probably never went to sleep the first 12 hours due to usage in transferring tons of data.

    However it has gone to sleep several times and been woken up without any negative effects on the Wi-Fi connection.

    I guess I'll keep it in the back of my head, but not gonna be concerned over it.

    Running .... 10.7.3

    I will say this ......

    We have a 24" iMac ( 10.6.x ) and had a 17" MBP ( shipped with 10.6.x I installed 10.7.3 ) prior to the new 27" iMac. The MBP is gone, but the two iMacs remain.

    We were having serious Wi-Fi issues with them on our network, connections dropping and not restarting during a session. The problem was traced to a network/server issue here but it seemed to only affect the Mac's and not the Windows machines. Since we fixed that network/server issue there have been no more problems.

    The issue was self induced by the IT guru and was a hardware configuration thing.
  24. wilsonjm macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    yeah, that and many other tricks, all to no avail unfortunately.

    the only thing I didn't try was to replace a Lion file (can't remember which but something to do with networking) with the one from Snow Leopard. this fix worked for others but I didn't want to mess with system files, I'd rather wait for Apple to solve it.
  25. NunoBerny macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2012
    Lisbon, Portugal
    As a prospective new user (hopefully soon), I'm a bit worried Apples intention to make the Mac more like the iPad.
    If people want an iPad, they buy an iPad.
    Those that buy an iMac, want a desktop.

    That and the (theoretical) step forward in making Mac OS a bit more closed in terms of what you run on it worries me. I know Gatekeeper doesn't close down the machine, but it seems a step towards that.

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