Apple’s 21.5-inch iMac with Retina is the least repairable yet

apples 21 5 inch imac with retina is the least repairable yet version 1444995450 imacwithretinaheader
Reparability has never been a focus of Apple. The company believes that excellent engineering can overcome the necessity of future upgrades. And it appears the new, 21.5-inch iMac with Retina was built with that philosophy in mind.

A teardown of the new desktop all-in-one conducted by iFixit discovered many of the usual Apple difficulties, including torx screws, a display that’s glued to the body, and a lack of convenient service panels on the back. But unlike its big brother, the 27-inch iMac, the latest entry to the family is built like a MacBook. The RAM is soldered to the logic board and the Fusion Drive connector is not present, meaning you can’t add to or replace either. What you bought is what you’re stuck with until the iMac dies.

The CPU is also soldered to the logic board. That, however, is no different from the previous 21.5-inch iMac.

On the whole, the latest model represents a new low in iMac reparability. The current 27-inch iMac with Retina is not in as bad a shape. It includes a replaceable CPU and hard drive, and the RAM can be easily upgraded or replaced by opening a rear service door. RAM aside, though, the components are only accessible by removing the display, which is bound to the device with adhesive.

Given its many built-in repair roadblocks, it’s no surprise the system received a score of one (out of ten), the lowest yet for any iMac. The only good the iFixit crew had to say was that cutting the adhesive tape holding the display in place wasn’t too difficult – though it ultimately didn’t matter, as there was nothing inside to repair, anyway.

It’s a shame that Apple had to make these compromises to put the system out the door. Apple’s iMac with Retina starts at $1,500, which is quite a lot for an all-in-one with such a small display, and that version comes with just eight gigabytes of RAM. If Apple keeps to its past track record, it should receive support for seven to eight years, and it’s possible that the standard 8GB of RAM will need an upgrade over that time.

Apple clearly believes that design is more important than reparability. If you don’t agree, well – at least Windows 10 is pretty great!


How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a decent laptop is easy, but finding one under $1,000 is a bit tricky. Luckily, we've taken some of the guesswork out of picking out a budget laptop. Here are some of our favorites, the best laptops under $1,000.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for March 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for March 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.

Why premium is the most overused, and least understood, word in tech

Everyone has heard the word premium, and many of us will have purchased a premium product, but what does premium actually mean, and why is it used so much in tech? Here's why it's so popular.

Jury fines Apple $32 million for infringing on three Qualcomm patents

In a serious blow to Apple in its legal battle against Qualcomm, a San Diego jury fined Apple $32 million for infringing on three Qualcomm-owned patents. The decision marks the latest news in a string of court dates for the two companies.

Saving for a vacation? Here are the best apps to help you manage your wealth

Looking to start managing your money, but don't care for intricate software or spreadsheets? Lucky for you, we made a list of the best budgeting apps designed to help you rein in your expenditures.
Home Theater

2019 LG OLED TVs with AirPlay 2, HomeKit support coming in April

LG has revealed the prices and release dates of the first batch of 2019 OLED TVs with A.I. ThinQ. The new W9 wallpaper OLED TVs will arrive in June, while the E9 and C9 OLED TVs will start rolling out in April.

The iPad Mini, Apple’s tiny tablet, makes a return with powerful specs

Apple has finally revealed the iPad Mini. With all-new and upgraded specs, support for the Apple Pencil, and a fantastically inclusive price, here's everything you need to know about the iPad Mini.

The Apple iPad Air is the power-packed tablet for everyone

The iPad Air is the less serious cousin to Apple's iPad Pro range, and it's the perfect addition to your coffee table. But it's no less powerful. Here's everything you need to know about the iPad Air.

This is the one thing you need to do before giving your child a smart phone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage Read on to find out how you can protect your child from online…
Movies & TV

Apple bet big on TV and movie projects. Here’s what we know about them so far

Apple has an ambitious slate of original programming it has been developing in recent years, so will the March 25 event finally reveal when — and where — we will be able to see some of these TV shows and movies?