iFixit iMac teardown reveals dual mics, difficult RAM upgrades and glued LCD

21.5 iMac teardown late 2012

While we had some pictures of a brief teardown earlier this week, iFixit has now completed its ritual teardown of the new 21.5-inch iMac that officially went on sale on Friday.

Unfortunately, iFixit described the process as an “exercise in disappointment,” noting the iMac’s new thinner design introduces new hurdles for repairability. Most notably, the device’s glass and LCD are now glued directly to the iMac’s frame, while accessing the RAM, CPU, and hard drive will now mean having to remove the entire logic board:

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.

A few things noted in iFixit’s highlights: a new rubber housing that “dampens the vibrations from the spinning hard drive,” a new single fan layout, dual microphones, and a 5mm thinner LG made display. Those are some of the highlights of Apple’s new design, but iFixit is scoring the new iMac as a 3 out of 10 (down from 7 last year) due to the many issues with repairability. Here are just a few:

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iMacs delayed until 2013? Update: Nope

Update: Our own Mark Gurman seems to have put the kibosh on this one.

French language website MacBidouille claims to have some bad news from its retail sources. While they were expecting to see iMacs arrive Nov. 27 (we also heard a similar time frame—with availability beginning around Black Friday) for the 21.5-inchers and later in December for the 27-inchers, both may now miss the all-important holiday shopping season.

The source blames a welding process for the delays, which would push the iMacs into 2013. The new iMacs also have a redesigned display that features a new thinner lamination process.

We first noted the delays in new iMac production in October and questioned whether the devices would be announced at the iPad mini event. Interestingly, we also heard that Apple might introduce an updated Thunderbolt Display in the not-so distant future that may be tied to the launch of the 27-inch iMac. Stay tuned for more information on that soon.

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iFixit launches Dual Hard Drive Kit and guides for Mid 2011 iMacs

While you might be familiar with iFixit from its in-depth teardown guides meant to provide the ultimate resource for DIYers, it also offers the necessary tools to get the job done. We told you a while back about its “iPhone oppression kit” allowing you to swap out Apple’s pentalobular screws with standard Phillips screws. Stemming from a discovery of two unused mounting points in its recent 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac teardowns, iFixit is now providing a kit that provides all the tools necessary to install a second hard drive in your mid 2011 iMac.

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