As time progressed, I realized that I had some other things I wanted to discuss. After I posted part one of the series, That Time I Bought an $1800 iMac, I realized there were a lot of things I didn’t really write about. So, I thought I would take a moment to write about those things in another post instead of updating the old one. Because, honestly, how many of you would have gone back to read it?
One of the things I wanted to be clear about – I love Apple. I have been an Apple fan since I don’t even know when. We used Macs at a job I had in the early 2000s. I could never bring myself to pay the price for an iPod so I always stuck with a cheap MP3 player. Then, the U2 iPod came out in 2006. My ex husband knew how badly I wanted it. He may have bought it used, but hey, at least he found one for me. I cherished that thing like it was a newborn baby. That is, until the Touch came out and I upgraded around 2008 or 2009. That didn’t last long because My first iPhone was a 3Gs which I received shortly after they came out in 2009. I upgraded to a 4 and then a 5s, which is what I have now. I’m ready for an upgrade and seriously considering the 6 Plus.
So, what exactly is my problem with the iMac if I like Apple so much?
I’m soooo glad you asked 😉
First, my original idea a few months ago when I decided I wanted to get the ASUS laptop off the desk was that I would buy an Apple Mac Mini. For those who are unfamiliar with that product, it’s a Mac crammed into this tiny box. Basically, like when you only buy a computer tower. This is like that. You use your own mouse, keyboard and monitors. They run about $500-$700. I was going to go that route so I could have the access to the Mac stuff I wanted without having to pay extra for the things I don’t really need. Then, I would save for a MacBook Air and pass along my laptop to someone who could use it. Original plans don’t always work out that way.
$1800. That’s what’s wrong with the iMac. And that’s low for the iMac I purchased. If you look at BestBuy.com or Apple.com you will see that they start at my price but if you want all the options I had, it will start you at about $2100. Mine was a discount because it was a floor model. I added Geek Squad and protection. Then tax. So my bill was $17hundred something and some change.
First, the price. Yes, I can afford it. That isn’t the problem. But, I live a very frugal life and I like it like that. I don’t buy things unless I feel I really need them and even then I weigh all my options. I had been eyeballing the iMac for a while. Mostly because of the giant screen. I currently use my laptop as a desktop and it’s connected to dual monitors. Which makes freelancing a whole lot easier when you are working on books, book covers, and other things. I can easily look at the screens instead of minimizing and maximizing. I thought if I had the Mac then I could just put things side by side or make them smaller and have everything on one screen.
So, if that was the case why didn’t I just get at 27″ monitor if that is all I was after?
Because I felt that $1800 would be a good investment for my freelance career. Honestly. I figured if I bought the Mac Mini I was going to eventually get a bigger monitor even though I already have 2 – 23″ monitors. Believe it or not, that 27″ made an impact. I thought it would be great to have the perks of a machine that was meant for iTunes and have my iPhone and iPad all work together. I thought it would run a lot more efficiently for larger programs like Photoshop. Photoshop CS6 is workhorse. Not only does it use a lot of disc space, it uses a lot of resources to run. iTunes is also a workhorse if you use it on a non Apple machine. Trying to run the two doesn’t mesh so well on my laptop. It’s not that big of a deal because I listen to the radio in my home office. Since I work from home, I am home a lot without a lot of outside interaction. Listening to local radio makes me feel a little less isolated.
After dealing with the whole Best Buy issue with the lack of password and then not installing all of the software they were supposed to, I was completely tapped out of energy. I started to see red flags the minute we pulled the Mac off the shelf. Something in my gut kept telling me it was not the right choice. But my husband, God bless him, wants me to have nice things. We have sacrificed a lot in our (going on) 7 years together with us both being in school and for most of that time I was in school. Our house is old and in need of repairs. All of the items in our house are old; either hand-me-downs or bought used. We could stand to buy new furniture and things like that. So, it was hard for me personally to justify the cost of the machine when I know we need to buy new furniture and work on some things around the house – especially since we hope to be putting it up for sale later this year.
But, my husband had a different idea. His thought is that you have to spend money to make money and with all the different business things I do, I needed a good, sturdy machine that would last me a long time and do all of the things I needed it to do. Don’t let him fool you, he is an Apple fan boy even though he started with Android 😉 He has an awesome machine that he built himself. It could do circles around this iMac and still not get tired. He spent about $700 on it. If you are familiar with Alienwear computers, it could give them a run for their money. It’s pretty bad ass.
I had my heart set on that Mac and he wanted me to have it. So when we found out that our Best Buy had an open box, it seemed like fate. That is, until that whole login situation happened and then Best Buy had to keep the Mac for a few days. Then, we had our own login issues thanks to Geek Squad.
But all of that aside …
Learning curve aside…
At the end of the day, this $1800 iMac doesn’t really run much better than my laptop. My laptop is an i5 dual core for those keeping track. The Mac was also an i5, but a quad core. My laptop does work a little better, but not a lot. Especially after I clean it up and remove all the stuff I no longer use. And that is something the accountant in me has to think about. Sure, Mac could be a good investment on my future. Because it is a business investment it is tax-deductible and depreciated over the course of 5 years. But that $1800 turned into over $2500 once I get all the software swapped over. Like I said, Photoshop and Lightroom are not cheap if I want to keep the software I currently have and use the Mac version. Word for Mac isn’t cheap. Being able to use my external hard drives on the max, another $30 for a drive to allow me to do so.
All these costs start to add up. So, I have to ask myself is that amount of money worth it for a computer when I know I can get a desktop with the exact same specs as the iMac for $600-$800. There would be no cost for me to move my software. I would just re-download and then put in my current serial number. Presto.
I know a lot of you went Mac and never went back. I wonder how many of you had to buy new software in order to be able to use your Mac. I also notice a lot of you have MacBooks, which didn’t cost $1800.
We can sit and compares Windows to Mac all day. Both have their pros and cons. Both are nice OS’s.
For me –
Being able to run Photoshop , iTunes and a web browser without too much of a hassle. Although, things did get logged up a bit. Browser stuck. iTunes cut out and radio would stop.
The ability to Facetime and use iMessage on the computer instead of running down my phone battery during the day.
All the apps I love about my iPhone and iPad are also found on the app store for the iMac
The price to change software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Word from Windows to Mac
The cost of having to pay for a driver in order to edit, delete and save files that are on my external hard drives
Learning all new commands. Windows is 2 keys, Mac seem to be 3.
Not being able to save files to certain folders on my external hard drives.
Again, I know that some of these changes can be made within the settings, but there’s that. Taking the time to find your way around to make the changes that can be made.
I do understand that all of my cons will be there if I use Mac Mini, however, the Mini costs less so therefore some of the swapping charges won’t seem so bad. Maybe. I don’t know. Like I said, I am pretty frugal and switching to a Mac has a lot of cost associated with it beyond the initial cost of the investment.
Do I like Mac? Yes. Do I like Windows? Yes. Do I hate either or like one more than the other? No. It’s like comparing apples to oranges; which I like both.
Do I feel the iMac is worth the $1800 price tag? No. And that is the bottom line. My decision had nothing to do with the learning curve. It had some to do with the software prices for switching. I think the Mac Mini could be worth the price, but I don’t think it was worth it for me to pay extra to have the monitor, keyboard and mouse. As I stated in the previous post, I ended up switching to my own ergonomic keyboard and mouse because Apple’s just wasn’t friendly when I am on the pc typing all day long. I am a writer. Not just blogs but freelance stuff and books, too. I need comfort over style.
You’ll have to wait for the next installment to see what I decided to do after its return.
I’ll give you a clue, I did not go with the Mac Mini.
Also, a very strange thing happened after that first post. I’ll have to tell you about it when I reveal my computer purchase.