ColorMunki Smile review

For most general Mac users the world of monitor and printer calibration is an impenetrable wall of jargon. They just want the colours on the screen to look how they should with the minimum of effort. Even if you are a busy designer, it’s handy to be able to just set up a monitor and get on with your work. That’s where X-Rite’s ColorMunki Smile comes in. Instead of getting all technical with the likes of Datacolor’s Spyder4, the English-mangling ColorMunki does all the hard work for you.

First step is to install the software from CD and restart the Mac. Then you can plug in the USB-based device. The device itself is solidly made, has a counter-weight and hangs over the screen. The edges and base are supported by soft-padding so there’s no chance of scratching the screen. Once the calibration starts, it runs through measuring red, green and blue displays. Then it moves on to secondary colours.

After a few minutes of this, your monitor is calibrated, you can remove the device and compare the before and after images. Looking at these, my original calibration was slightly warmer and slightly greener. The new calibration was a little whiter and cooler.

That’s all there is to the main calibration side. There’s a menu option to remind you to recalibrate after a set time, contact X-Rite or launch the calibrator again. Looking at the colour profile that’s create for the display, it’s tagged with D65 suggesting a white point around 6500K which is the crisp, blue side of white. It sets this regardless of your ambient light conditions. The red, green and blue response curves were set to a Gamma of 2.203 which, again, is virtually on the standard of 2.2 so it shows that was pretty much the target.

OUR VERDICT

There’s no doubt that this is as easy to use as monitor calibration can get. It’s completely automatic and just does the job then shows you the difference it made. For anyone who wants a better, more accurate display, without all the technical jargon, it really is a great, low-cost, option.

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