Apple iMac teardown reveals lack of repairability

A teardown of the brand new 21.5-inch 2012 Apple iMac has revealed that it is less repairable than its predecessors, due to a glued-down LCD screen.

iFixit got hold of one of the new 21.5-inch models and wasted no time in tearing it to pieces, discovering in the process that both the glass and the LCD panel of the screen are glued to the all-in-one’s frame with “incredibly strong adhesive”.

The glass used to be held in place with magnets, allowing for it to be easily removed and replaced for repairs – but that’s simply not the case any more. And as Apple itself has already revealed, it’s not possible to easily replace the RAM on this model. Old iMacs had a small door which could be opened with a screwdriver, enabling the user to switch out RAM modules, but in order to install new RAM on the new 21.5-inch iMac one would have to remove the entire logic board. RAM, however, can be user-replaced on the 27-inch model.

The teardown, which followed last Friday’s 21.5-inch Apple iMac release date, also revealed a few more details, such as the fact that the new iMac uses a 2.5-inch HGST laptop hard drive rather than the 3.5-inch desktop hard drive used previously (this saves space, allowing the iMac to be much thinner than previous models); that there are now two microphones on board to improve the audio quality for FaceTime calls; and that the multiple cooling fans of the old models have been replaced with a single centralised fan.

The new iMac models went on sale last Friday, 30th November, starting at £1,099.

Are you disappointed at Apple’s approach to construction of the 21.5-inch iMac, or is its lack of user reparability a small price to pay for that gloriously thin frame. Let us know your thoughts on the matter via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds of through the comments section below.

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