We got our hands on a MacBook Pro 13" Unibody and decided to compare it to a MacBook Unibody -- from the inside! Follow us on Twitter to get all the latest updates as we're doing the teardown!

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009, use our service manual.

  1. This just in: the new MacBook Pro 13" Unibody!
    • This just in: the new MacBook Pro 13" Unibody!

    • We'll be comparing it to the MacBook Unibody throughout the teardown.

      • We have a feeling it will be very similar in most regards.

    • Check out our MacBook Unibody repair guides if you'd like to answer any of your repair-related questions!

    • Would you like to write teardowns like this? Show the world what's inside your gadgets with our new user-contributed teardown platform!

  2. Contents of the box:
    • Contents of the box:

      • User's manual

      • Restore DVDs

      • 60-watt AC adapter

      • AC adapter extension cable

      • Cleaning cloth

      • No video adapter, as usual.

    • Some comparisons to the MacBook Unibody:

      • No access door for the battery on the bottom.

      • The addition of an SD card slot (and the omission of digital/mic port) is readily apparent.

      • FireWire is back!

      • Computer lock is now on the other side.

      • The SD card sticks out almost .5"! This is a cheeseball design for a MacBook "Pro" if you ask us.

    • Let's get down to business.

    • There's no door latch, going along with the "not user-serviceable battery" theme.

    • We had to dig out a Phillips screwdriver for this step.

    • A quick flip of the lid and...

    • ...It's almost exactly the same as our old, "lesser" MacBook Unibody.

    • The battery compartment is identical to the one we uncovered in the MacBook Pro 17" Teardown. We'll venture a guess that it looks the same in the updated 15" Pro as well.

    • Remove two tri-wing screws and the battery is suddenly replaceable. The sticker comes right off, just as in the 17" Pro -- because it's adhered to just the battery and midwall, not to the optical drive.

    • 7-hour battery specifications:

      • Model A1322

      • 10.95V

      • 60Wh

      • "This battery contains no mercury (Hg)."

    • When working on all machines that have internal batteries, disconnect the battery first to cut off power to the entire device.

    • Apple does offer battery replacement service for $129. If you're not near an Apple Store or service provider, you'll be without your machine 3-4 business days.

    • Although the batteries look similar, they're definitely not interchangeable. The MacBook Pro's battery is too large (and different in shape) to fit into the older MacBook Unibody.

    • Removing the hard drive...

    • It's still considered user-replaceable by Apple, but replacement does require removing 10 more screws than on the MacBook Unibody.

    • First thing we'd do is replace the 160 GB Hitachi with something more meaty.

    • The subwoofer comes off after removing two screws.

    • The optical drive is attached via three Phillips screws.

    • The brackets and screw layout are identical to the older MacBook Unibody.

    • Removing the optical drive exposes the right speaker.

    • It's held in place by adhesive. A quick pry with the spudger will loosen it.

    • A connector, three Phillips screws, and bam -- the fan's out!

    • Disconnect the LVDS connector.

    • Remove 7 motherboard screws.

    • Remove 2 DC-in screws.

    • Disconnect trackpad, keyboard, and battery level indicator cables.

    • Remove LVDS cable retaining bracket.

    • And the logic board is almost out...

    • Pop out the microphone from its cave.

    • The logic board is finally free!

    • A couple of images of the logic board, before we strip it naked...

    • Like the MacBook Unibody, the heat sink comes out along with the logic board.

    • Both sides of the logic board.

    • Hi-res pictures of the front and back.

    • Not for the faint of heart -- full-size images (5 MB a pop!): front and back.

    • And here's the whole enchilada for you to enjoy.


Hi. AMAZING walkthrough and I really love your website. I need HELP!

I bought a refurbished MBP 13-inch 2.26 GHz and I don't think it came with a wireless card (I think I got ripped!). Bluetooth is working but my airport says "No Airport card installed".

Anyway - is it possible to check if the wireless card is in there? If not, is it possible to replace it? Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

James McGrath - Reply

The AirPort card is hidden in the display. We don't have a guide specifically for it, but you can follow the display guide to remove the display and then use the clutch cover guide to access the AirPort card (you don't have to remove the front display glass to access the card; the clutch cover guide was part of another guide for the LCD but the steps are generally the same).

Andrew Bookholt -

HELP, how I need to know the difficulty of replacing a LVDS cable. Make screen is fadeing to white and freezes when the screen moves.

acmilanav - Reply

great guidelines.... I have a macbook pro mid2009 A1278. buzzing sounds coming out when I play any music. is there any fix?

Ehsun Newaz - Reply

Hi, I have a macbook pro Mid 2009, now it very slow. can it upgrade? If it must upgrade What I I do for it?

Give me some your opinion, Thank you very much!


Tao Nguyen


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