New iMac Problems ???

Apr 27, 2009
I would like to purchase an iMac, but came across a review on Amazon that concerns me a bit. Here it is:

As a photographer, I was really looking forward to the great 27" screen to edit on while also websurfing, chat, email etc.

Unfortunately I got intense headaches using it, due to the brightness & glossy surface, even in a rather dark room. The screen may look great under the bright lights in the AppleStore - where the high contrast and color saturation still makes things "pop" - the reality of extended use I found to be something entirely different. If you dial the brightness down to a more reasonable level [for me less than half] it takes away the color saturation, and you still have all the reflections to deal with.

At the suggestion of a couple of AppleStore employees with photography/video editing experience, I bought a connector to add my old 20" matte cinema display. While not having the resolution or newer technology of the iMac screen, the color differences [even after both were calibrated] are quite clear. But more importantly, the comfort factor difference is astonishing. Apple Help has no idea what the native brightness standard should be prior to color calibration, and am awaiting a response from engineering to find out as at max brightness, it's enough to burn holes in your eyes :) If calibrated to that standard, then dialed back for eye comfort any photo adjustments will then be off for printing or web use.

If you're primarily using the machine to read/write text, play games, and watch DVD's in very controlled lighting - then I can imagine this screen would be something you'd be interested in [however "overpowered" it would be to get the i5/7 version for that]. But if you are using it for media production, I have to reluctantly tell you to stay away unless you already have worked with this screen before.

The experienced AppleStore employees told me that I would never be happy with the glossy/bright screen [where were they when I was shopping - and was told it would be "incredible...perfect...fantastic" by others?] and should consider going with a matte screen [build-to-order option] with the MacBook Pro 15" or 17" and combine it with a matte monitor [I'm looking at Dell's 30" for $900 as Apple's old 30" is far more even on clearance]. Not exactly what I had in mind, and a lot more $$ - but at this point I know I can't comfortably work with this screen.

Yes - the machine appears to be very fast [i7] even without the additional 8GB of RAM I bought but haven't installed yet. And yes - eyesights are different - but now that I have the Issue, and have been doing a lot more reading about it, it appears I'm with the majority of users who do media work.

While wanting to avoid too much detail - transfer from my G5 Tower using Tiger was very seemless, with one glaring exception: there were 3 .dfonts that came up that the i7 said I should trash [lucinda, geneva, helvetica] in order for the new OS to work properly - which I did - resulting in most displays on the computer, from the browser to the screenbar being unreadable with capital "A's" instead of the text...until I dumped them back into a font folder. AppleHelp still believes this will cause other issues down the road - but at least I can read the text on my screen now.

A keen disappointment, with many wasted hours and many yet to go before resolution, but I wanted to alert others who may be considering a purchase now.

Any one have similar issues like this reviewer has?
Aug 21, 2009
Darmstadt, Germany
Real Name
My i7 27-inch display is great, and I bought it specifically for digital image processing. I have not noticed an distractions from reflections.

My 15-inch MBP has the glossy display as well, and it doesn't bother me, regardless of the light conditions of the room.
Mar 21, 2008
The Netherlands
The only time I'm troubled by the reflections is when the sun is shining directly into my study and reflects on some white furniture. Otherwise I'm very happy with my iMac.
Jan 18, 2008
I don't think we all respond the same to the glossy screen reflections. I find them hugely annoying and ordered my new 17" MBP with a matte screen. I like the look of the glossy screen, when I see it in a darkened room, but for me that would not be typical. As much as I would like to replace my old 23" Apple Cinema Display with a bigger one, I am hesitant about the glossy ones. I also find default brightness too bright on all the screens.

If you end up considering an external monitor look at NEC. They are not cheap, but they have a 27" model that pivots for portrait mode.
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