21.5-inch new iMac can't be upgraded, Apple site suggests

If you want to stick more memory in the new iMac, you'll need to buy the 27-inch version.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Tech tinkerers may want to steer clear of Apple's new 21.5-inch iMac, as it seems the desktop monster can't be upgraded.

Softpedia spied that Apple's description of its recently unveiled machine suggests that screwdriver-happy meddlers will be prohibited from beefing up its components.

"The 21.5-inch iMac comes with 8GB of memory and can be configured online with 16GB," Apple's description reads. The blurb goes on to detail how you can, "Add more memory to the 27-inch model yourself by popping open the easy-to-access memory panel on the back."

That all but confirms that when it comes to the smaller model, you'll have to settle for however much memory it has when it first shimmies out of the box. If you want the option of keeping your iMac fresh by adding more memory in future, you'll need to buy the more expensive 27-inch model.

Apple seems to be doing its best to extinguish the art of refreshing your current computer with new parts. The MacBook Air is upgrade-proof, as is the 15-inch retina MacBook Pro that went on sale earlier this year.

That last one was particularly galling, as an expensive bit of kit like that would appeal to professional types who need high-end hardware for processor-straining tasks like design or video editing. If you can't upgrade your machine to keep it cutting edge, you're forced to splash out on a new computer. I expect the new 13-inch model will have similar limitations.

The lack of a RAM access panel on the new iMac also rules out buying the cheapest configuration then upgrading the system yourself with third-party memory, which can be cheaper.

Is upgrading computers totally passé? Or are you outraged that Apple is stopping customers from tinkering with their tech? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.