Question What to do, what to do?! New iMac? MacBook? Monitors?

Inked

Distinguished Member
Following on from my iMac screen failure
(See thread here Question - Anyone had an iMac screen replaced? Trying to get an idea of cost before Monday )

I have today collected my iMac without it being repaired, and after some back and forth with Very they have now agreed to a return and 80% refund of £1255 (20% reduction for 16 months usage).

I’m actually pretty happy with this as while I wouldn’t have chosen to upgrade after such a short amount of time, I also wouldn’t have managed to sell it for £1255 if I was planning to upgrade.

So, the question is, what do I go for?

Another iMac? (Add some cash and get the current base model again at £1799) I like the way the office looks with 2 iMacs, but it may not be the best moment to buy an iMac with a possible refresh coming up, plus I have just purchased an M1 Mac mini so…

Dual monitor setup? Take advantage of the Mac mini and get two 27” monitors, saving some cash in the process.

49” Ultra-wide monitor? Gives me the equivalent of two 27” monitors but in one long seamless screen.

M1 MacBook Pro / MacBook Air plus single monitor? Buy a single 27” monitor plus a MacBook (don’t really need a portable computer as I have my 2018 iPad Pro)

It’s a nice position to be in, and I have time to consider as the refund won’t be made until the iMac is back with Very next week, and I have my M1 Mac to tide me over.

65A86DEA-6328-4ECB-9B08-E83694316BDD.jpeg
 

Flashy

Well-known Member
If I were in your shoes...

First off, I’d discount the MacBook options because, as you say, you don’t need portability and you already have a Mac mini knocking about.

I’d rule out another iMac right now given the Apple silicon update will be coming soon-ish, which seems likely to take its design cues from the iPad Pro not the design of several years now. But more on that in a couple of paragraphs...

I’d also rule out dual monitors because I’ve tried that several times over the years and just can’t get on with that set-up. It’s not the width, it’s the two separate displays that I can’t get on with, for some reason.

So that leaves and ultra wide monitor with the Mac mini. Or... another iMac. The set-up in your pic looks lovely and the symmetry is a large part of it. I’d love something like that. But then if the new Apple silicon iMacs do have a new design it won’t be a long-term thing anyway and I’d be wary of dropping the best part of two grand on something that’s not the shiniest, newest thing when I don’t desperately need it right now.

All things considered, I’d go for the 49in monitor, put the new Mac mini to use and trouser a grand or so – possibly just until the new iMacs arrive, whenever that may be, at which point I’d no doubt be tempted.

Nice problem to have!
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
If I were in your shoes...

First off, I’d discount the MacBook options because, as you say, you don’t need portability and you already have a Mac mini knocking about.

I’d rule out another iMac right now given the Apple silicon update will be coming soon-ish, which seems likely to take its design cues from the iPad Pro not the design of several years now. But more on that in a couple of paragraphs...

I’d also rule out dual monitors because I’ve tried that several times over the years and just can’t get on with that set-up. It’s not the width, it’s the two separate displays that I can’t get on with, for some reason.

So that leaves and ultra wide monitor with the Mac mini. Or... another iMac. The set-up in your pic looks lovely and the symmetry is a large part of it. I’d love something like that. But then if the new Apple silicon iMacs do have a new design it won’t be a long-term thing anyway and I’d be wary of dropping the best part of two grand on something that’s not the shiniest, newest thing when I don’t desperately need it right now.

All things considered, I’d go for the 49in monitor, put the new Mac mini to use and trouser a grand or so – possibly just until the new iMacs arrive, whenever that may be, at which point I’d no doubt be tempted.

Nice problem to have!
It’s definitely the way I’m leaning, I’ve owned MacBooks in the past and they never end up leaving the house.

I think something along the lines of the Philips
that I believe @Mr X has recently purchased.
My only concern is the drop in resolution compared to the iMac

Will be interesting to see what apple do with the iMac line up with their own silicon
 

Flashy

Well-known Member
It’s definitely the way I’m leaning, I’ve owned MacBooks in the past and they never end up leaving the house.

I think something along the lines of the Philips
that I believe @Mr X has recently purchased.
My only concern is the drop in resolution compared to the iMac

Will be interesting to see what apple do with the iMac line up with their own silicon
Don’t bring @Mr X into it! I’m envious enough of your home office space, being reminded of his again might push me over the edge!

For context, I’m still using my late 2012 Mac mini for work every day, as well as it being the home’s iTunes (still on Mojave) server. I’d like an upgrade but really don’t need to fork out for one as long as it does all I need it to do – which, thanks to an upgrade to an SSD a while ago, it does more than well. Incredible really, given its age.

Also still using the 22in monitor I got at the same time more than seven years ago. A 27in one was too big for the space at the time but might get away with it now, as bezels have shrunk. Whether anything bigger would fit on the little IKEA desk would be another matter.

Maybe one day I’ll be back in the office and won’t have to worry about such things. One day.
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
Don’t bring @Mr X into it! I’m envious enough of your home office space, being reminded of his again might push me over the edge!

For context, I’m still using my late 2012 Mac mini for work every day, as well as it being the home’s iTunes (still on Mojave) server. I’d like an upgrade but really don’t need to fork out for one as long as it does all I need it to do – which, thanks to an upgrade to an SSD a while ago, it does more than well. Incredible really, given its age.

Also still using the 22in monitor I got at the same time more than seven years ago. A 27in one was too big for the space at the time but might get away with it now, as bezels have shrunk. Whether anything bigger would fit on the little IKEA desk would be another matter.

Maybe one day I’ll be back in the office and won’t have to worry about such things. One day.
My original plan before I bought the M1 Mac mini was to pick up a 2012 with an SSD. Such good computers, my old 2011 mini is still going strong at the in-laws.
 

Mr X

Distinguished Member
Hi guys!

That is a lovely space @Inked and certainly gives you plenty of good options.

I was in a similar dilemma having used and loved an iMac for many many years and the last one being the rather lovely iMac Pro. The wife has nicked that now!

There was nothing wrong at all with the iMac Pro at all other than screen real estate was really becoming frustrating and less productive with my workflow and multi-tasking demand increasing.

I tried coupling it with a spare Thunderbolt 27 I had, but it wasn't very pleasing on the eye (I have OCD about how things look) and took up a lot of desk space as had to be at an angle to each other which at times made me feel I was at Wimbledon!

Anyway, by far the best thing I did was suddenly wake up one day and buy an Ultarwide on a whim!

I tried 3 screens before I settled on the Philips, heres why...
(One thing to note is that I purchased mine in Oct/Nov last year and prices have gone up by about £100!)

Samsung 43
Amazon product
- Loved the size instantly and I was a convert but screen resolution coming from a 5k mac was truly horrendous so in order to up that I had to either go smaller or larger. Go home or go big is my motto!

Samsung 49
Amazon product
- Much better screen resolution at 1440 but no USB C made firing it up with my MBPro13 M1 totally hit and miss. I'd also started to miss not having a built-in webcam rather than always having to undock to use my MBP for Teams ad Zoom.

So in the end the Philips 49 was the only one that ticked all the boxes (actually cheaper at BT at the time so purchased there)

Amazon product
Pros of Philips

USB C, KVR Switch and fires up every single time and quickly with an M1 Mac, HDMI with HDR for my PS5 which I also have connected.

Cons of Philips

Webcam is usable but not in the same league as an iSight. It's overblown in contrast and Philips adjustment software only runs on Windows. Waiting for Parallels on M1 to sort that.

Button menu Vs Joystick on the Samsung - A pain when setting up but then it's set and forget.

I initially preferred the stand of the Samsung but they wobbled a bit. The Phillips stand is much more sturdy but takes up a bit more desk space but I like the industrial look and now I've used it as a kind of docking area if you view my set up, I like it now.
Cable management is not as good as the Samsung but I sorted that myself easily.
However, if I were you I would wall-mount it with the included mount and add some ambient lighting as long as your space allows it. I'ld love to do that but my fixed-layout sadly doesn't give me that option. As far as I'm aware 49 is also too big for a table arm mount so it's either wall or desk stand. Oh, it has good height, swivel, and tilt and I can use it standing as it goes pretty high too! The only Issue I then can't. reach my keyboard but I stand occasionally on long calls.

Summary


I really never thought I would move to a monitor set up in a million years as I love the all-in-one iMac but the extra screen real estate has genuinely made me far more productive and it would be hard to ever go back. The real test is when Apple launches the new iMac MX1 as those renders look great but I don't think could downgrade my space now.

Resolution really not an issue as long as you have at least 1440p. I don't miss my 5k iMac but if you are swapping between the 2 then you are going to notice a difference but not in everyday sole usage. And you also have the option of split screening to give yourself 2 4k monitors without an ugly bezel splitting them.

I did consider MacMini M1 but though I'm stuck at home the new MBP M1flies and it's nice that at the weekend I can take the laptop to the sofa until Monday and as it's 13inches, I sold my Ipad Pro 12.9 as to fund it.

Anyway hope some of that helps.
 

Flashy

Well-known Member
I tried coupling it with a spare Thunderbolt 27 I had, but it wasn't very pleasing on the eye (I have OCD about how things look) and took up a lot of desk space as had to be at an angle to each other which at times made me feel I was at Wimbledon!
That was what I couldn't find the words to say. It was the fact that either you have the two separate screens flush with one another, in which case the angles were off, or you have them at an angle and it just looked odd.
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
Hi guys!

That is a lovely space @Inked and certainly gives you plenty of good options.

I was in a similar dilemma having used and loved an iMac for many many years and the last one being the rather lovely iMac Pro. The wife has nicked that now!

There was nothing wrong at all with the iMac Pro at all other than screen real estate was really becoming frustrating and less productive with my workflow and multi-tasking demand increasing.

I tried coupling it with a spare Thunderbolt 27 I had, but it wasn't very pleasing on the eye (I have OCD about how things look) and took up a lot of desk space as had to be at an angle to each other which at times made me feel I was at Wimbledon!

Anyway, by far the best thing I did was suddenly wake up one day and buy an Ultarwide on a whim!

I tried 3 screens before I settled on the Philips, heres why...
(One thing to note is that I purchased mine in Oct/Nov last year and prices have gone up by about £100!)

Samsung 43
Amazon product
- Loved the size instantly and I was a convert but screen resolution coming from a 5k mac was truly horrendous so in order to up that I had to either go smaller or larger. Go home or go big is my motto!

Samsung 49
Amazon product
- Much better screen resolution at 1440 but no USB C made firing it up with my MBPro13 M1 totally hit and miss. I'd also started to miss not having a built-in webcam rather than always having to undock to use my MBP for Teams ad Zoom.

So in the end the Philips 49 was the only one that ticked all the boxes (actually cheaper at BT at the time so purchased there)

Amazon product
Pros of Philips

USB C, KVR Switch and fires up every single time and quickly with an M1 Mac, HDMI with HDR for my PS5 which I also have connected.

Cons of Philips

Webcam is usable but not in the same league as an iSight. It's overblown in contrast and Philips adjustment software only runs on Windows. Waiting for Parallels on M1 to sort that.

Button menu Vs Joystick on the Samsung - A pain when setting up but then it's set and forget.

I initially preferred the stand of the Samsung but they wobbled a bit. The Phillips stand is much more sturdy but takes up a bit more desk space but I like the industrial look and now I've used it as a kind of docking area if you view my set up, I like it now.
Cable management is not as good as the Samsung but I sorted that myself easily.
However, if I were you I would wall-mount it with the included mount and add some ambient lighting as long as your space allows it. I'ld love to do that but my fixed-layout sadly doesn't give me that option. As far as I'm aware 49 is also too big for a table arm mount so it's either wall or desk stand. Oh, it has good height, swivel, and tilt and I can use it standing as it goes pretty high too! The only Issue I then can't. reach my keyboard but I stand occasionally on long calls.

Summary

I really never thought I would move to a monitor set up in a million years as I love the all-in-one iMac but the extra screen real estate has genuinely made me far more productive and it would be hard to ever go back. The real test is when Apple launches the new iMac MX1 as those renders look great but I don't think could downgrade my space now.

Resolution really not an issue as long as you have at least 1440p. I don't miss my 5k iMac but if you are swapping between the 2 then you are going to notice a difference but not in everyday sole usage. And you also have the option of split screening to give yourself 2 4k monitors without an ugly bezel splitting them.

I did consider MacMini M1 but though I'm stuck at home the new MBP M1flies and it's nice that at the weekend I can take the laptop to the sofa until Monday and as it's 13inches, I sold my Ipad Pro 12.9 as to fund it.

Anyway hope some of that helps.
Very informative post. I never used the webcam on the iMac so wouldn’t miss that particularly (always FaceTime via phones or iPads as we tend to move around a lot due to the kids)

The lower res and no longer matching the other iMac are my main concerns (though both things I’d likely move past pretty quickly once I see a huge 49” screen on the desk).

Not sure wall mounting is an option as it’s a sloped ceiling directly behind the desk. It already has a Hue strip along the back of the desk, hue bulbs at each end, a strip behind the sideboard, and hue ceiling light, not sure adding another to the back of the screen will be required ;)

The Philips looks great in your setup (and now I’m looking at all those lovely GroveMade items too!!)

Thank you
 

Mr X

Distinguished Member
Yeah I did look at the slope of your eves and wondered whether that would restrict you. Great that you have Hue on the desk already.

The best thing about the Grovemade is the smell of the leather and great workmanship. I did ask them about UK distribution but alas it's US only. Expensive but absolutely gorgeous. If you don't go for that can recommend the OrbitKey desk pad which I didn't have space for but the Mrs has.

I'm slightly obsessed with viewing amazing desk set up on YouTube and go down a rabbit hole looking at stuff!

I also recommend the BenQ desk lamp (really helped my eyes) and the Nomad Pro (place your items anywhere) charger.

Oh speakers are tinny compared to the imac but the kids bought me the Hopepod mini which solved that.

I'm excited for you!!
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
Well, iMac was picked up today. So hopefully the refund comes through quickly.
Have ordered a magic keyboard to use with the Mini in the meantime.

Not having much luck though, have just found a reasonable sized scuff on the casing of my graphite Apple Watch. So that’s another £775 spent today on apple products!!!!! 😂
 

Inked

Distinguished Member
Any idea how or when you did it? My graphite has been accidentally knocked a few times but not surprisingly not single thing on it which makes it more durable than the Silver versions I've had in the past.
Only thing I can think of was working out yesterday and felt my adidas power tube catch against it. Didn’t think it would have marked it as it’s mainly plastic and fabric externally.
It’s only a small scuff but hey, there’s always overtime to pay for a new watch!
Ordered the one with a sport band this time as I still haven’t opened the Milanese loop.
 

Mr X

Distinguished Member
@Inked You got me thinking about a monitor arm. Stumbled across this one that supports 49inch...but at a price!

Actually after digging around on YouTube, as the popularity of Super Ultrawide is increasing there now seems to be a lot more Arms that now support 49inches compared to just a few short months ago when I first looked. Humanscale do some nice kit as I'm sitting on one of their chairs and I had no idea they did monitor stands too.

 
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ascender

Active Member
I've just picked up a 49" LG Ultrawide - like others have said, once you've used one, its really difficult to go back to anything smaller/multiple monitors. I actually tried a 34" one first, got hooked on the idea, but it wasn't big enough.

Its nice having 4/5 big apps or document pages on one screen, but I also quite like it for focusing one one app in the middle of the screen with a nice clean backdrop either side.

Due to the weight, I picked up an Ergotron HX Arm - its the white one of those three shown above and is about £200. You can really feel the strength and quality of components. its pricey, but it makes for a very clean install, lots of desk space reclaimed from the stand and I don't have any qualms about its reliability.
 

Mr X

Distinguished Member
I've just picked up a 49" LG Ultrawide - like others have said, once you've used one, its really difficult to go back to anything smaller/multiple monitors. I actually tried a 34" one first, got hooked on the idea, but it wasn't big enough.

Its nice having 4/5 big apps or document pages on one screen, but I also quite like it for focusing one one app in the middle of the screen with a nice clean backdrop either side.

Due to the weight, I picked up an Ergotron HX Arm - its the white one of those three shown above and is about £200. You can really feel the strength and quality of components. its pricey, but it makes for a very clean install, lots of desk space reclaimed from the stand and I don't have any qualms about its reliability.
Can I ask where you picked up the HX from. Are you Pleased with it any pics you could share?
 

ascender

Active Member
Can I ask where you picked up the HX from. Are you Pleased with it any pics you could share?
I got it from here. Great service and if you're using it with the LG you don't need anything extra like you do for the Samsung G9. Yes, I'll pop up some pics in the morning and am delighted with it. Install was a breeze and its the first one I've not had to adjust in any way once the monitor is on - it also feels absolutely bomb-proof.

Due to the layout of my room, there wasn't the option to use a flat-mount on the wall which is the other cheaper option I'd considered and would probably go for. That said, its nice bring able to adjust the height.
 

Mr X

Distinguished Member
I got it from here. Great service and if you're using it with the LG you don't need anything extra like you do for the Samsung G9. Yes, I'll pop up some pics in the morning and am delighted with it. Install was a breeze and its the first one I've not had to adjust in any way once the monitor is on - it also feels absolutely bomb-proof.

Due to the layout of my room, there wasn't the option to use a flat-mount on the wall which is the other cheaper option I'd considered and would probably go for. That said, its nice bring able to adjust the height.
Nice one thanks for that.
Very tempted now. Decisions decisions!
if I go this route I probably will end up drilling into quite an expensive desk rather than clamping it but I guess I could try the clamp first. Thanks again
 

ascender

Active Member
Nice one thanks for that.
Very tempted now. Decisions decisions!
if I go this route I probably will end up drilling into quite an expensive desk rather than clamping it but I guess I could try the clamp first. Thanks again

I'd been using a wall mount arm for my last 24" monitor as there's a stud just to the left of my desk, but it wasn't rated for the weight of the new one.

The clamp you get with the Ergotron is a serious piece of kit in its own right in terms of the weight, dual clamps and the build quality. I initially thought I'd have to drill in to the desk and do it that way, but am not going to bother now.
 

ascender

Active Member
Here's a few pics, its a work in progress so cabling isn't tidy etc. What can I say about it? Hopefully the pics let you get an idea for what the finished result can look like - nice and clean with lots of desk space. I've also taken pics of the mounting components to show you they're really chunky and well made. The monitor is rock solid and adjusts height with a very nice action - I've not had to adjust the tensioner at all.

I've had it hooked up to an M1 Air which is a nice setup with a single usb-c cable for the laptop, but its currently on a Mac Mini which is mounted to the underside of the desk although that's getting replaced for something with more cores and this one seems to be running very hot too which is strange.
 

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Mr X

Distinguished Member
Here's a few pics, its a work in progress so cabling isn't tidy etc. What can I say about it? Hopefully the pics let you get an idea for what the finished result can look like - nice and clean with lots of desk space. I've also taken pics of the mounting components to show you they're really chunky and well made. The monitor is rock solid and adjusts height with a very nice action - I've not had to adjust the tensioner at all.

I've had it hooked up to an M1 Air which is a nice setup with a single usb-c cable for the laptop, but its currently on a Mac Mini which is mounted to the underside of the desk although that's getting replaced for something with more cores and this one seems to be running very hot too which is strange.
Nice one thanks for that!
Defo looks better on an arm and frees up a lot of desk space.
Whilst looking at the HX I stumbled across the fact that they actually do a wall mount HX version which whilst I haven’t hit a back wall I could mount to the side wall

Anyway, thanks again much appreciated
 

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