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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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Teardown of New 21.5-inch iMac Reveals Glued Down LCD and Dual Microphones




iFixit has released a comprehensive teardown of Apple's new 21.5" iMac.

The new iMac, with its ultra slim bezel proved to be a disappointment to the iFixit team, because both the glass and the LCD are glued to the iMac frame with strong adhesive, which negatively impacts repairability.
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The late 2012 iMac 21.5" - code-named EMC 2544 - is an exercise in disappointment for us. We were quite worried when we saw that super-thin bezel during Apple's keynote, and unfortunately we were correct: the glass and LCD are now glued to the iMac's frame with incredibly strong adhesive. Gone are the lovely magnets that held the glass in place in iMacs of yesteryear.
While the RAM, hard drive, and CPU can be replaced, the entire logic board must be removed to do so, which led the iFixit team to give the 21" iMac a repairability score of 3 out of 10, down from 7 out of 10 for last year's model.


Here are the highlights of the teardown:

-Nothing about the internals of the new Mac resemble last year's model.
-Apple has swapped out the 3.5" desktop hard drive for a 2.5" HGST laptop hard drive, freeing up valuable space.
-The hard drive has a rubbery housing at its edges, which is a new design meant to dampen the vibrations from the hard drive in the closely packed quarters of the iMac.
-There are no longer multiple small fans. Instead, Apple is using a single centralized fan.
-Apple's new iMac has two microphones to improve sound quality when using FaceTime.
-The AirPort card uses a Broadcom BCM4331 single-chip WLAN solution and three Wi-Fi antennas.

iFixit's teardown also included a detailed listing of all of the chips on the logic board.

Despite the repairability concerns, early reviews for the design of the new iMac were largely positive.

Apple's new iMacs went on sale on Friday, Nov. 30. The 21.5" model starts at $1299 and $1499. The 27" iMac starts at $1799 and $1999. The 21.5" model can currently be purchased in the Apple Store, but the 27" models have yet to ship.

Article Link: Teardown of New 21.5-inch iMac Reveals Glued Down LCD and Dual Microphones
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:05 PM   #2
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is this a good or bad thing?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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i wish there was no glue and only just magnets
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ZacNicholson View Post
is this a good or bad thing?
Is what a good or bad thing?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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is this a good or bad thing?
a lot of people are about to complain saying that the new iMac isn't repairable. these same people would have never replaced an LCD in their iMac anyway.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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I cannot get enough glue in my desktops.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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Its not too bad. Its actually adhesive transfer tape according this thread. RAM can be replaced by removing the screen and the fan.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:10 PM   #8
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a lot of people are about to complain saying that the new iMac isn't repairable. these same people would have never replaced an LCD in their iMac anyway.
Nice.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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is this a good or bad thing?
Bad, if you want to upgrade RAM yourself or anything else that requires removing the front glass. Makes me glad I bought a 2011.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:11 PM   #10
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Here's the deal, iFixit MAKES MONEY from repairing machines and trying to convince users they too can repair crap if they purchase their tools. So their "3 out of 10" is basically just their profit margins going down. Of course they are going to be "disappointed..."

I'm not sure if they missed it, but this is an ALL IN ONE machine, which by their very nature aren't generally easy to bust open and start swapping things out.

Besides, by the time you are in dire need of upgrading the CPU, Intel switches sockets on ya.

In short, it's cool to see how they are put together, but iFixit's "ratings" are dumb when done on devices like this, Apple or not.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:11 PM   #11
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is this a good or bad thing?
Try reading the article first..
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:12 PM   #12
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You don't have to tear it down to reveal the dual-microphones. You can clearly see them both on the exterior. So they built the new iMacs more like MacBooks yet they cost much less??
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:12 PM   #13
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I'd say the point ifixit make about the lack of SSD slot connectivity on the base model is note worthy! You should update the article.

I see you think the mention of a Broadcom WiFi chip is noteworthy but the exclusion of SSD connector is not.

Last edited by All Taken; Dec 1, 2012 at 03:50 PM.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:13 PM   #14
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Mostly Positive?

Stick an optical drive back in it Tim. Also how much does it cost Apple for "all" that componentry? And how big would the bulge in back of the iMac be if they hadn't used the highest profile cooling fan they could possibly find mounted on top of the single speaker that's in the iMac?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:14 PM   #15
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People have spoken with their wallets that the majority of people buying apple products put a low priority of repairability
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:15 PM   #16
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It was assembled in the USA!!! 3rd image on step 3.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:17 PM   #17
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by unlimitedx View Post
People have spoken with their wallets that the majority of people buying apple products put a low priority of repairability
When you have AppleCare, why bother repairing it yourself? One of the key advantages in getting a Mac is that it isn't some PC you either have to try to fix yourself or go thru hell to get support for it.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by flopticalcube View Post
Its not too bad. Its actually adhesive transfer tape according this thread. RAM can be replaced by removing the screen and the fan.
not quite true. You have to take out the logic board, since the RAM is on the back of it...

..which makes it a lot more difficult in my eyes.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:18 PM   #20
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There MAY be a case for blu ray, but we all know Apple's stance on that. So I think most gladly take nothing over a lil cd/dvd combo drive.

Last edited by brock2621; Dec 1, 2012 at 03:32 PM.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:18 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by camnchar View Post
I cannot get enough glue in my desktops.
Biologicals and glue are different things
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by medi.freak View Post
not quite true. You have to take out the logic board, since the RAM is on the back of it...

..which makes it a lot more difficult in my eyes.
Nope. According to the user in that thread all he had to do was remove the fan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.OG View Post
I opened up a base 21.5 last night and it came apart with very little effort. The adhesive transfer tape needs to be replaced but it peels away from both surfaces without leaving any residue. I was able to replace the ram with two 8gb sticks i had laying around without removing the logic board but i had to remove the fan. Here are some pics i took during the process.

Image
Image
Image
Image
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by schneiderman View Post
when you have applecare, why bother repairing it yourself? The whole point in getting a mac is that it isn't some pc you either have to try to fix yourself or go thru hell to get support for it.
this.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:19 PM   #24
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:19 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by brock2621 View Post
Here's the deal, iFixit MAKES MONEY from repairing machines and trying to convince users they too can repair crap if they purchase their tools. So their "3 out of 10" is basically just their profit margins going down. Of course they are going to be "disappointed..."

I'm not sure if they missed it, but this is an ALL IN ONE machine, which by their very nature aren't generally easy to bust open and start swapping things out.

Besides, by the time you are in dire need of upgrading the CPU, Intel switches sockets on ya.

In short, it's cool to see how they are put together, but iFixit's "ratings" are dumb when done on devices like this, Apple or not.
That's complete crap
Never before has the iMac been totally non user serviceable, no ram upgrade at the very least, not to mention when the hdd fails
All in one =/= non user serviceable
Apple just took the cheap way out and used adhesive tape to stick it together rather than designing an alternative system
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