iMac mat bezel mod – glass is history

At work I have an core i3 iMac 21.5″ from Mid-2010.

Unibody iMac computers are great machines but I cannot stand the glass panel: It looks great but it’s a nightmare to have a piece of highly reflective glass between your screen and yourself.
I don’t really understand why apple did not offer the option to have the computer’s glass panel replaced with a black mat plastic bezel. I’m not talking about the LCD screen, but just the glass panel that can easily be removed with suction pads to get inside the computer.

I asked my boss if he would mind if I removed the glass panel altogether and left the computer’s LCD screen and edges exposed. He reply he would mind adding he wouldn’t really like the look of it and also so that the computer would gather dust and that maybe water would eventually find it’s way inside the computer…

A couple of weeks later had a brainwave: I should be able to use diamond cutting discs and my dremel to cut out a window into the glass panel thus eliminating the annoying reflections.

I did so and… it was a bit a disaster.

It’s virtually impossible to cut a piece of glass with a dremel and cutting discs without breaking the glass. By the way, cutting glass with a rotating tool is dirty and dangerous business:

  • Wear a breathing mask unless you want glass dust in your lungs.
  • Wear protection glasses (I felt on several occasions small shards of glass hit my hands and face!).

The good news is behind the black bezel of the iMac’s glass panel is a thin metal frame that sticks to the glass and holds it together even when the glass is broken.

Once the window cut out of the panel I used a large sheet of black vinyl to cover the sharp edges of the panel and render it mat.

Check out the end result bellow. I am really thrilled with the results: No more headaches and annoying reflections between the LCD screen and my eyes!

There are still reflections from the glossy LCD screen but these are not a problem at all as the surface of the screen is treated just like macbook air screens’ are.

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