six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

By Jason Snell

Needs repair: A 5K iMac with spider retention issues

One of the first products I reviewed when I started Six Colors was the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display. Apple shipped me one to review and after using it for a few days I realized I needed to buy one of my own. And for the last three years, the iMac I bought has floated above my desk and been my tool to write innumerable articles and edit innumerable podcasts.

As I wrote back in 2014, the screen on the 5K iMac is spectacular. So sharp, so clear, so close to the surface. Though the glass and the LCD aren’t laminated together (like on so many modern iOS devices), they are a single unit, so the implication is that the glass and the LCD panel are so close they’re almost touching.

So close. Almost. But not quite. Which I know, because earlier this week I turned on my iMac to record the Upgrade podcast and saw this:

Yep. That’s a teeny, tiny spider, wedged between the screen and the glass1. 1600 pixels from the right edge of the screen, 840 pixels down. The size of one of the red/yellow/green stoplight buttons on the left side of my window’s title bars. A 20-by-20 pixel area covered by the body of a spider.

Look, I work in a garage. There are spiders around, and though I try to keep it all clean, it’s far from a pristine environment. We have lots of spiders outside the house, and a few get in from time to time. I’ve seen a spider crawling across my iMac display before, on the outside. But this spider apparently crawled in a vent and somehow found its way into the space between the iMac’s display and its attached glass front.

So, what am I to do? I’m going to take my iMac to a local Mac repair shop to see if there’s any way for them to blow out the spider, but failing that, it will be a screen replacement. Yes, replacing a 5K screen… all because of a tiny spider.

You may be saying to yourself, how bad is it, really? Can’t you live with a spider in your display at all times? The answer, after one week, is… no, I don’t think I can. Not if I can avoid it.

Anyway, 5K iMac, it’s been a good run. Yeah, you started showing signs of image retention issues earlier this year, but that’s been manageable. And even if I am sorely tempted to upgrade to an iMac Pro later this year, I don’t want this amazing, fast computer to go to waste—I want to sell it or hand it down to a family member. And that means the spider’s got to go, if I can find a way to get it out of there.

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