Last August we reported that one of our iMac screens had started getting these odd vertical stripes on the left-hand side. It appeared to be a hardware problem and Apple was no help as the unit was past the 1 year warranty period. We never buy AppleCare for any of our Macs as we think buying extended hardware warranty is a rip-off.
Since we didn't have AppleCare, the projected cost to replace the screen was WAY more than reasonable. So we worked out a solution by stepping down the display resolution. However, we never really liked losing the extra screen space.
One way to recover the lost space is to go dual-screens. Dual-screen support has been native on the Mac for decades. It used to be more plug-and-play, but Apple has made it more complicated with newer Macs by using proprietary connectors.
We had to make sure we purchased the appropriate adapter based on the type of connector on the external screen. In our case, we needed a mini-to-VGA, but we also could have used a mini-to-DVI as the external screen supported both.
The dual-screen solution is a good alternative to fixing a bad screen for a lot of reasons. AppleCare costs $300. The quoted price for "fixing" the iMac was over $700 at the Apple Store. We purchased a used 22" widescreen monitor for $140 on Craigslist and an adapter for $20.
If/when the iMac screen finally "dies", we will just flip to "mirror" mode and use the second screen as the primary display. For the present, we have twice as much desktop at about half the price we would have paid for AppleCare warranty. Now that is a good deal. It is likely we'll continue to buy Macs, but unlikely we'll ever buy AppleCare. We would rather put the money toward actual hardware. [Permalink]- iMac Multi-screen