Touchscreen devices have become common since the first iPhone launched years ago. Physical buttons are going away on smartphones, in cars, and on laptop computers. The lack of physical buttons means that sometimes the most basic fixes for problems can get overlooked. Case in point is a photographer's trouble with his high-end MacBook Pro.
Photographer Greg Benz started to have issues with his $7,000 MacBook Pro notebook computer. The problem was that the screen was black no matter what he did, and he took the machine, which was under warranty, to Apple for help. Apple, like Benz, thought the screen was defective and set about making repairs to try and fix the machine. The repairs were extensive, and costly, estimated to be around $10,000, which is unusual in a notebook that cost $7,000 as new.
Apple replaced the logic board inside the machine twice along with some cables. Eventually, Benz was given a new, replacement MacBook Pro. With the warranty on his old computer, the upside was that he wasn't out of pocket for the legendarily expensive Mac repairs. After all the expense and time without his notebook, the problem was discovered when an Apple Genius aimed a flashlight at the screen of the original MacBook Pro assumed to be defective. It was only then that it was discovered that the brightness was turned all the way down.
Benz recalled that the last time he had used the MacBook he had it connected to external monitors and brightness was at its lowest setting. There were a number of other glitches that compounded the issue; for one the keyboard wasn't lighting up, the brightness controls on his external keyboard were not responding, and the Touch Bar on the notebook wasn't showing up when he turned on the machine. Brightness controls for the MacBook Pro are handled by the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar wouldn't turn on until after he logged into the computer.
Benz admits that other Apple users are unlikely to experience the glitches that he and Apple fought. He also never tried simply typing in his password to see if the machine would unlock. The Apple techs that repeatedly replaced parts and ultimately gave him a new notebook didn't think about typing the password either. In unrelated input-related Apple news, the company has been fighting keyboard issues and is making keyboard repairs next day for MacBook owners.