Worried about 20in iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by davisac, May 24, 2008.

  1. davisac macrumors member

    May 20, 2008
    I've been reading all over the internet about the problems with the 20in displays. And because I'm looking at iMacs its really scaring me that Im going to get a bad one or something like that. Is the problem as real as it seems or is it overrated? I dont want to spend $300 more for a 24 in. (well I do but I dont really have the money). Any Advice? thanks
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    There is no real "problem" with the display. Because of the type of panel that is used (TN), the viewing angles aren't great and there is a gradient shift from top to bottom that is most noticeable when a solid color is displayed. As long as you are not doing any professional photographic or layup work that requires super-accurate colors or require two or more people to look at the screen at the same time, you won't see a big difference.
  3. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    Ya there arent any "bad" or "good" ones, they all use TN and TN has really bad problems with viewing angles since thats just how they are made. You will not get lucky and get a 20" imac with a good viewing angle, that would go against physics.

    The only thing you will get lucky or unlicky with is backlight bleed and dead pixels. But thats something that happens to all LCD's.
  4. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
    I have a 20' that I'm quite happy with. it's true that the viewing angle is less than on the 24' models, and there is a slight gradient from top to bottom but I don't notice it unless i change my background to a solid color as I did for testing... As for viewing angle, I rarely need to view my computer from any angles besides straight on because I have to sit in front of the computer to use it anyway. I'm thinking this could be an issue for some users.

    I'm not trying to make light of what other posters have told you, just giving you a different opinion and letting you know that some of us have purchased the 20' model and we don't find it to be a problem. At the time I bought this one, the 24' models had gradients going from left to right so either way I was going to have to deal with a gradient issue. This may have been fixed since then.

    Advice...go to a store and have a look for yourself and then decide. No one other than yourself can tell you what is acceptable. If all else fails, and you get a machine you're not happy with, send it back. Best of luck with your purchase.
  5. jacksam101 macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2006
    Crewe (UK)
    RE: Worried about 20in iMac

    I've just replaced my 17in G5 iMac with a refurb 20in iMac 2gb from the UK apple store and have to say that the screen is amazing compared to the G5's screen. Colours are more vibrant and the viewing angle is far better than the G5.

    My refurb came with a bigger than expected HD (320gb rather than the 250gb listed - which was a nice surprise) - the only problem I have had is that the superdrive started spitting out disks - I had a simillar problem with the G5 last year (also a few posters share the issue in these forums) so use a super quiet external DVD with (lightscribe etc). I probably should return it to get this fixed but it's set up perfectly and I don't want to be without it.
  6. duncyboy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2008
    The other night I was checking my 20" iMac for dead pixels using a program that gives fullscreen white, black, red, green and blue backgrounds. No dead pixels but on the black screen I noticed a VERY minor backlight bleed and on the white screen I then saw the screen gradient. It's absolutely minor and, to my mind, doesn't alter my opinion of my iMac at all. I can only see it on fullscreen colours and when going back to the normal display with wallpaper and dock etc I can't see it any more.

    Personally it doesn't bother me one jot- it's one of those "problems" that you only notice when you go looking for it in my opinion. :)
  7. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    The current iMac is one of the ugliest products Apple has ever released, but that's beside the point. I have a 20" model with the 2.4GHz processor and I have to say that I haven't noticed any major problems with the display. It has one dead pixel but I can't actually see any problems with gradienting or viewing angle.

    I think to notice it you will need to have the 24" model beside it. It really is nothing to worry about.
  8. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Theres nothing wrong with the iMacs, when someones iMac breaks, they come on the Internet and start posting everywhere that it broke, whereas you don't post to say it didn't break do you. Thats why.

    Why did you buy it then? Personally I think it looks a million times better than that cheap looking white plastic one.
  9. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    It's a much better computer than the one I had before. Unlike some people here, I don't buy computers based on how they look over how they perform.
  10. duncyboy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2008

    Back to the O/P you'd really have to get a 20 and a 24" side by side and calibrate them and then put the same image on to notice the difference. To some people- this isn't a criticism by the way, just an observation- the screen gradient is a deal-breaking, Mac ruining catastrophe. To me, it's a minor fault that's barely noticeable under scrutiny.
  11. jonswan macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    The iMac 20 inch is a fine, great looking machine. The viewing angle is fine - where exactly do people need to view a screen from? Duh. There's no gradient color problem either - go ahead, you'll love it.
  12. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    I've got a second display--an HP w2207--hooked up to my 20" iMac (photo here). You'd be hard pressed to notice any quality difference between the two monitors (except the HP might be a bit brighter if you set its brightness to max).

    That said, I use my iMac for writing, surfing, photo management (hobby, not pro), video editing (again, hobby) and other random stuff. If I were a pro photographer or video hero, I probably wouldn't use an iMac anyway.
  13. ert3 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2007
    glad I got the laptop

    MBP 4 T3H W1N
  14. decipher macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2008
    As long as you calibrate it (using the built in software), your 20" display will be quite good. The default setting is not that great, the screen will appear to be a bit washed out.
  15. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    You cant tell the difference because those are TN monitors. You would easily be able to tell a difference in the viewing angle with the 20" white imac or an ACD (or any other S-IPS LCD). With a TN it doesnt matter where you sit, the top will always be darker and the bottom will always be lighter because the viewing angle isnt good enough to stay perfectly even like with S-IPS monitors.

    TN's are fine for people who browse the web or do other casual tasks, but they are not good for anyone who needs to edit photos or create art due to the top and bottom of the display being different values (which creates a gradient).
  16. davisac thread starter macrumors member

    May 20, 2008
    ok so almost any consumer models are TN then? unless you buy a more expensive one correct?
  17. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    20" S-IPS monitors generally start at around $400. TN's can range from $150-$400 but are rarely more expensive than that unless they are 24"

    You can tell its a TN by the listed viewing angle, it will be 160 degrees. S-IPS is the best and it will be 178 degrees.
  18. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    I disagree. The difference in colour is absolutely tiny if any at all when viewing the screen head on. Certainly you won't notice any problems unless you buy a bar stool or sit on the floor. Sure, if you're doing professional work on photos or professional design, get the best you can, but if you're planning to use your computer looking directly at it you will have no problems whatsoever.

    Remember, the people who continually argue about TN being rubbish are usually the people who have to work the hardest to justify their ridiculous purchases of 24" iMac or all that money they wasted on an Apple Cinema Display.
  19. lisamel macrumors regular


    Mar 1, 2008
    Oslo, Norway
    I have a 20" iMac and I am extremely happy with it. The viewing angle is better in the 24" (which has been mention before in this post) but I think the screen is great. Would definitely recommend you buying it :)

  20. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    That sounds like something someone would say who has never used an S-IPS screen. The difference is not tiny, between the top and bottom the values probably vary by 20% or more, sitting in front of it. If you are used to looking at an S-IPS screen you will notice it, you will notice it in everything you do including how oddly dark the gray at the top of the finder window is and how oddly pale the dock is. Like I said this change in value is fine if you are not doing anything artistic, but it poses a problem with any kind of serious photo editing (more than just messing with contrast) or creating art from scratch, especially if you plan on other people seeing it.

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