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Users can’t upgrade the RAM in Apple’s new 21.5-inch iMac

Published Oct 24th, 2012 2:07PM EDT

The iPad mini might have stolen the show at Apple’s (AAPL) Tuesday event, but the new redesigned iMac easily comes in second. With 5-millimeter thick edges and a 60% boost in graphics performance, the new iMacs make desktops computers look very attractive again. There’s just one thorn in the 21.5-inch iMac’s side: upgrades.

To get the iMac to such a thin profile, Softpedia notes that Apple chose to remove the optical drive and laminate the glass face to the LCD panel. That’s great and all, but the ability to pop off a few screws and add more RAM to the 21.5-inch model is now gone. Sure, 8GB of RAM is more than sufficient for many users, but if you want to add more RAM down the road, it’s impossible to do so.

The only options are to either buy a 21.5-inch with 16GB of RAM and future-proof your iMac at checkout or buy the more expensive 27-inch iMac that does have user-serviceable RAM modules.

The 21.5-inch iMac now joins the MacBook Air and 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display as computers with soldered RAM. Having soldered RAM in a notebook was already pushing it, but Apple’s decision to do the same on the desktop is a little bit unsettling, especially since desktops are replaced less frequently.

Raymond Wong is a technology reporter with a passion for cutting-edge gadgets and clean design. His writing has appeared on DVICE, Ubergizmo, G4TV, Yahoo News, NBC blogs. You might even have seen his videos on Xbox LIVE.