The folks at iFixit disassembled the new 21.5″ iMacs, which went on sale just yesterday, to reveal a number of interesting tidbits about Apple’s ultra-thin all-in-one. iFixit also found that the steps Apple has taken to reduce the thickness of the iMac has made it very difficult to repair or upgrade components within the iMac.
Apple chose to glue the display assembly to the iMac’s frame with a pretty strong adhesive in the new models, as opposed to the magnets it used in previous generations. To get past the adhesive, the folks at iFixit had to use a heat gun. The display assembly itself has the LCD laminated to the front glass, as Apple described in its October keynote. While this has its benefits in terms of the viewing experience, it will make it harder to repair and may have no option but to replace not just the LCD but even the glass along with it in case of damage.
The 21.5″ iMac seems to be using the same display as its predecessor, but Apple managed to make it 5mm thinner. iFixit suspects that Apple “took all the same pieces of the LCD and crammed them into a smaller housing.”
It’s also not going to be easy to upgrade the new iMac’s RAM as one needs to unglue the screen and remove the logic board in order to do so.
As we saw earlier, the innards of the new iMacs are very different from its older model, which had almost no room inside its casing. Apple’s decision to remove the optical drive, choice of a 2.5″ HDD instead of a 3.5″, and a change in layout of the fans seems to have helped it in providing the additional air space.
The new iMac features dual microphones for background noise cancellation during FaceTime calls.
Overall, iFixit has given the new iMac a poor 3 out of 10 repairability score.
Head over to iFixit for the complete teardown and more images of the iMac’s interior.