Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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MacBook keyboard layout does not mach model number!

Hi, I am in need of a new keyboard for my macbook (water damage heavily averted, but the N key bought it). I have been through the 'ID your mac' process on here and gave all the details in;

The machine is marked as an A1181 model, and has a 2.2 dual core, all which lead to show that it is a Santa Rosa/Penryn model and I found the suitable keyboard on your site, this is where the problem occurs.

The keyboard photographed is not the same layout as on my macbook, mine looks like the newer A1342 spec...

How can I tell which one I need, I know the mac has not been altered since new, so all parts are original, but which keyboard do I need to buy?!

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

Well, essentially every topcase of a matching color made for an A1181 will work fine on another A1181. Actually, iFixit sells the Santa Rosa/Penryn, the one with the "iTunes keys" as an upgrade for older models because not only it will work just fine, but the internal logic of the top case will take care of "remapping" the keys.

So, you may buy just every A1181 white keyboard you come across.. however, are you sure is not this one?

MacBook Santa Rosa/Penryn Upper Case with Keyboard

MacBook Santa Rosa/Penryn Upper Case with Keyboard Image


MacBook Santa Rosa/Penryn Upper Case with Keyboard


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I'm certain, I have now established that the keyboard in the photograph on the link you gave is the version 1 keyboard and the one that I have is the version 2. The only difference I can see is that the return key spans two rows on the version 2 and 1 row on the version 1.

Many thanks for your concise answer, I feel more confident in just going out and buying a top now that I know hy are interchangeable.


Truth to be said, your topcase may be a V1 or a V2 version. The keyboard in the photo is the V3. This, ordering them by date of production.

v1: Original topcases, volume keys on F4 and F5, orange flex cable, thin plastic, a bit more uniform looking, but frail. Used on the original Core Duo.

v2: The topcases that came out after the "cracking palmrest issue". Like the v1, only often shipped with a grey foxconn flex cable, and a sturdier, more thick plastic, but still fit quite flush on every single A1181

v3: Santa Rosa/Penryn Topcases. Volume Keyboard on F11 and F12, iTunes controls, shipped with the last Macbook before the line was phased out.

If you're a purist, you can get the one that looks exactly like the one you got, otherwise you can choose between the v2 and the v3.

If you've the occasion, you could get the iFixit keyboard: I've got in office an external Apple USB keyboard, and the iTunes keys are useful if you work while listening to music. Otherwise, the choice is yours.


Well, about the return key, be careful!

The iFixit keyboard there has a US layout. Check better if you want a localized layout... for example I had to search for an Italian layout because I needed the accented letters.

So, check beforehand if you need a localized layout, every country may have different special letters. If the picture truly satisfies you, go for it.


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