Apple keeps on making all its products slim as if the company is putting all its products on a diet. The outcome of this is a very low repairability score. When Apple tries to slim a product, it definitely requires serious engineering to assemble everything into the smallest package ever possible.
Looking at Apple’s track record, it isn’t surprising to know that the 2012 iMac is incredibly difficult to repair. The folks at iFixit took an in-depth look at Apple’s new all-in-one and during the routine teardown they discovered that the display glass and LCD are glued to the iMac’s frame. Previous generations of iMac used magnets to hold the glass in place and that’s one of the reason why iMac received good scores on repairability, but not anymore.
The cost is quickly apparent: cutting open the display destroys the foam adhesive securing it shut. Putting things back together will require peeling off and replacing all of the original adhesive, which will be a major pain for repairers.
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The second major complaint is the lack of upgradability. The positioning of the internal components is such that it makes it hard to upgrade components like the hard drive, RAM, and CPU. Users will need to remove the screen and logic board to gain access to these components, and this is definitely something not that easy.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has used a process called friction stir welding to encase the new iMac together. This technique is also used in automobiles and large airplanes.
Friction stir welding is more like joining clay than welding—it doesn’t melt the workpieces, but rather softens the area between them and forces material together, creating a strong weld with no weakened heat affected zone.
The good news is that the new redesigned iMac uses dual-microphone technology for better FaceTime calls and a large central heat sink which uses only one fan to keep the temperature down, instead of using multiple small fans.
Finally, if we look at iFixit’s Repairability Score, the 2012 iMac scores 3 out of 10. It’s worth noticing that the last iMac scored 7 out of 10. Therefore make sure that you buy the configuration that you need from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), instead of later upgrading the components by yourself.