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.
Terry @CandidaJourney says
My friend has an iMac and loves it. It is a lot more expensive but she says it’s worth it. Can’t wait to see what you went with.
I’m interested in what you did end up with! My husband has a Mac and loves it. I have a Dell and love mine. I’m on the same page as you. Both have pros and cons, and I could work with either. (I don’t like the price tag of Apple.)
Thats pretty much what it was for me. The specs were not that much different than the laptop I was using. The desktop I traded it for has higher specs and was less on the bank account.
Sarah Bailey says
Really interested in seeing what you decided to do – I’m pondering a new computer and switching over to iMac, I’ve always been a windows girl. x
aimee fauci says
We have both and I have to say that I prefer the MAC. They are more expensive but …knock on wood.. we’ve had no virus problems where as with my Dell.. too many.
I’ve had Dell for many years. That is not what I have now, but its still Windows based. I always hear stories bout virus issues and such. I had a problem once many many moons ago but it was my own fault because I downloaded a torrent that I thought had a file that looked weird but I took a chance anyway. Other than than, I have never had a problem.
Catherine S says
Can’t wait to see what you go with. I don’t really have a preference. My husband and son both have Alienware for all the gaming they do.
I have been considering a Mac. But having to learn everything again makes me cringe
Some people loves Macs, but I’ve never felt like making the investment. I think you have to find the computer that works best for you- although I’ve sometimes been swayed by a nice design.
I think that is what sways a lot of people. It’s also a status thing. Brand name. It’s all psychological.
I can’t imagine paying that much for a iMac, I paid less for my PC and it’s amazing!
One day I will have an imac right now I make do, all my computers break down on me so easily and it’s frustrating. I hope when I do save up enough a Mac will be worth it. I’ve bought so many laptops in the last 4 yrs I’ve lost count.
What brand are you buying?
My husband has had his HP laptop for about 10 years now and still uses it. Works good. He’s never had to pay for any repairs. I have an ASUS laptop, going on 5 years and again, no problems. So, I wonder if its the brand and/or type of laptop you are buying.
Liz Mays says
I’ve had an apple laptop for a while now and I’m still learning how to use it. After years of using Windows there is a a bit of a learning curve but I like it a lot.
Very true. By the time I took the iMac back I was pretty much over the learning curve. But, I was having problems with it freezing and not running certain programs the way I needed it too. In a sense this $1800 iMac didn’t work much better than the laptop I was using as a desktop. So, the desktop I traded it for cost less, but has higher specs, therefor runs circles around the iMac.
Kristen from The Road to Domestication says
Interesting post! I will say that I’ve worked on the same MacBook Pro for 7 years now without an issue, and I’ve watched my PC friends replace replace replace. I’m gearing up to buy an iMac by the end of this year. But to each his (or her) own!
We have Apple products and love them. The iMac is a nice desktop, but for the price, the specs should be more. I traded it for a cheaper desktop and the specs are higher than the iMacs. My laptop is the same brand, which I have had for about 5 years now and I’ve never had an issue with it.
What a lot of people don’t know is that Apple computers has parts that are made by one of the computer companies on the market today. Matter of fact, a lot of computers on the market have these parts. So, the reality is it comes down to looks/cosmetics and brand names.
My son bought one and had lots of regrets and concerns at first. He is very good at computers too. However, with time he has really grown to love it and now said that he is glad that he purchased the Mac.
I am sure if I would have kept it I would have been fine too. I was frustrated for more reasons than just the switching from Windows to Mac.
At the end of the day, the computer I traded it for was a lot less and the specs were greater.
Annie M says
My husband has an AlienWare & he loves it. It runs pretty darn well, too! I use it for photoshop when he’s not gaming 😛
A lot of our friends have AlienWare but they are some hardcore gamers too. They are great machines.
Paula Schuck says
Everyone likes different computers for various reasons. I know many people that love anything Apple and I also know many people that will only buy non Apple items.
We have both in our house. We have iPhones and iPads and Touches. But our laptops and desktops are not Apple.
I love my macbook. That said, I did have to replace the ram on it which stunk.
Rachelle J says
I have wanted an Imac forever!!! But I can’t justify spending that much on one 🙁 I’m excited to see what she picked!
Donna Ward says
My first computer was an apple – we loved it and my son being an artist still buys everything Imac – but, I didn’t like the price and at the time i didn’t want to hassle with the Microsoft Word – so have not had a Mac in a long while – loved you very interesting story!
Lisa Rios says
I do love Apple products so much & buying an iMac is always on the cards. You have given a clear idea about the product with both Pros & Cons & that is really going to help someone who would love to buy one.
I switched to a Mac in 2004, and I have never looked back! In fact, I still have that Mac, and while I can’t do much other than browse basic websites, listen to music, and type notes on it, it’s still in perfect working order. Apple products are definitely expensive, but I do believe they’re good investments. I’ve had my Macbook Air for 4 years now.
I’ve never had a Mac before. I would love to own one some day.