My first steps in this project were not really opening the case. They were actually online research on the laptop.
There are many guides on disassembling macbook pro laptops and breakdowns of their components: wifi cards, lcd and basically everything. So going into this first step I already had a good understanding of what I'm about to see.
The online research also pointed me to the likely SBC that I will use: Banana Pro (the big brother of the banana pi). Mainly because of its support of both LVDS and SATA and its price tag.
However online research can only take you so far and I am not going to spend money before seeing things with my own eyes. Which leads us to step 0.
opening the case was fairly straight forward based on ifixit.com guides:
These were very handy and also include many picture that helped me identify parts during the online research.
Opening the case revealed my first of probably many challenges in the project - the keyboard trackpad interface, which seems to integrate the keyboard, trackpad, bluetooth and two other things into one connector.