New iMac Teardown Reveals Dual Microphones, Gets Poor Repairability Score

iMac-teardown-1The 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.

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Categories: iMac, Mac

  • Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    You say it has a HDD in it. I thought the new line are sporting the SSD’s?

    • Ns

      Not the base model which only has 5400 hard drives. And why don’t they show pictures from the sides. I know its 5mm at the edge but how much thinner is it really than last years model. This one is nice to look at but what’s the point of making it difficult/impossible on the 21.5 models to do internal upgrades if it takes up the same space as the previous generation. I’m all for design but not when it reduce functionality.

  • Huggy84

    You can choose what type of HDD you want from SSD, normal HDD or the combined SSD with built in Spin HDD so that you can utilise the SSD for fast access on things you use and moves long term storage to the other side

  • ron

    for that money i can buy super powerfull gaming pc with dual boot IOS and windows plus ipod touch and vita just don’t be isheeps