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Home > Insights, News > MacBook Unibody – Backlit Keyboard Upgrade

MacBook Unibody – Backlit Keyboard Upgrade

June 18th, 2009
MacBook Unibody Top Case w/ Backlit Keyboard Connector

MacBook Unibody Top Case w/ Backlit Keyboard Connector

The original 13″ MacBook Unibody came with the option of a backlit keyboard in the higher end model (2.4Ghz.)

The entry level (2.0Ghz) didn’t come with the backlit keyboard but it did include the components necessary for one (logic board connector and ALS.)

The only difference between the two models is the backlit connector (attached to the lighting itself) on the top case.

Any MacBook Unibody that shipped without a backlit keyboard can get this functionality with a new top case (the same one used in the 2.4Ghz) that includes the proper connection.

MyService is automatically upgrading non-backlit MacBook Unibody customers to the backlit capable top case when they have the top case replaced on their MacBook (often due to liquid spill.) So when they get their top case replaced, they get new functionality for their laptop at no extra cost.

UPDATED: Some versions (about 15%) of the MacBook Unibodies do not have the proper connector on the logic board that enable the backlight upgrade. The only way to tell is by opening up the case and examining the logic board itself.

  1. Jacob Mendrin
    June 28th, 2009 at 14:33 | #1

    How much does this cost and what are the details to get this done?

  2. June 29th, 2009 at 08:03 | #2

    The cost for a new top case with the backlit keyboard (it’s one piece) is $295. The price includes round trip shipping, a shipping box and installation.

    You can see all of the repairs and upgrades for the MacBook here:

  3. Jake
    September 29th, 2009 at 23:51 | #3

    Is it possible to buy the cables and do the repair myself. How is the repair done.

  4. September 30th, 2009 at 07:52 | #4

    @Jake The connector (cables) is part of the backlit assembly (Top Case) and the individual parts aren’t available separately.

  5. tommygun
    October 27th, 2009 at 15:45 | #5

    C’mon guys. Backlite keyboards available on ebay for 120$. Changing keyboard takes 20 minutes. Are you crazy ask 170 USD for 20 min??

  6. October 27th, 2009 at 15:54 | #6

    @tommygun Changing out the keyboard on the MacBook Unibody top case takes more than 20 mins. The parts we use are brand new (not used pulls from eBay) we don’t void the warranty and the work is done perfectly. The price also includes round trip shipping. We’re not the cheapest, we’re the best:)

  7. January 14th, 2010 at 10:51 | #7

    @Robert Baker
    I respect you sticking to your guns on your price. “We’re not the cheapest, we’re the best” Quality work demands a quality price. Good luck.

  8. January 22nd, 2010 at 15:20 | #8

    Wish I had found you guys before I went through all the trouble of prying apart my 2.0GHz MacBook. However, as it is already sitting in pieces before me, I will most likely not be shipping it anywhere for service.

    I need to order a new top case due to a liquid spill. The computer itself is still functional, but has sticky keys and the click function on the trackpad does not work. I’ve been considering ordering the backlit case, as I know the hardware will connect, but I was wondering if there is any kind of software upgrading that needs be done to get the backlight and dimming functions to work. Perhaps the OS sees it automatically once it is plugged in?

    Sorry to solicit advice like this when I know you guys are trying to making a living on it, but as I said, my unit is already broken down. Will definitely send others your way first if I meet any with the same problem.


  9. Jordan
    April 7th, 2010 at 19:15 | #9

    Is there a way for you to just swap keyboads out on the new oct 09 poly case with the backlit keyboard? how much we talking for that?

  10. April 7th, 2010 at 20:06 | #10

    @Jordan Unfortunately not. The keyboards aren’t available separately and the backlighting isn’t built into the keyboard like it is on older MBPs and PBs, it’s actually a LED membrane that’s overlaid (and again not available separately.) This membrane can be transferred independent of a whole new top case but you would need to find a used backlit top case (preferably one that was damaged for cheap) and have the connector needed on the logic board. Hope this helps.

  11. Jordan
    April 11th, 2010 at 14:00 | #11

    So The only option i would have is to use a top-case with the back-lit keyboard. Are there any white poly top-case macs that have the back-light? Or would i be stuck with a half aluminum half white poly computer. Thanks for your help!

  12. April 11th, 2010 at 14:05 | #12

    @Jordan Sorry, I misread your original comment, didn’t realize your were talking about a poly MacBook. There is no real way to add the backlight to a white or black MacBook. The unibody top case is totally incompatible with the poly MacBooks. Can’t mix the the two.

  13. Jordan
    April 12th, 2010 at 18:16 | #13

    Well that sucks! Guess ill just have to get the pro one day and be happy. Anyways thank you for your time !

  14. June 4th, 2010 at 23:19 | #14

    I installed Windows 7 x64 onto a new 640 GB Caviar Black hard drive I recently bought. I partitioned the hard drive into two parts— the first partition has all of my programs installed and the second partition has all of my files (my documents, etc). This morning when I turned on my computer, I got the following error: “Disk boot failure insert system disk and press enter”. I have never seen this before, so I went ahead and inserted my Win 7 x64 disk and restarted. Here, I can’t see my hard drive when I go to “Repair your computer”; however, whenever I go to “Install Now” as if I was going to start a new installation, I can see both partitions. Any ideas? I’ve thought that it might be a faulty cable, but then I can still see the drive when I click Install Now, so I’m not sure if that is the problem.

  1. June 18th, 2009 at 15:58 | #1
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