At last, a monitor-calibration product that doesn’t require a PhD in applied mathematics to master. Working on an uncalibrated monitor is asking for trouble, because what you see on screen will not necessarily be what you get in print. Huey corrects monitor colour so you can view photos and designs more accurately.
Huey is about 10cm long and comes with a USB extension lead, software CD and screen cleaner. There’s also a stand in which the sensor lives, from here it detects changes in room lighting and automatically updates your monitor output accordingly. The accompanying software is easy to use and guides new users through the setup process with clear help files. The most complicated part is sticking Huey to the screen with the calibrator’s suckers.
Once you’ve gone through the screen calibration process you can choose to optimise it according to a number of presets. These include Gaming, Web Browsing & Photo editing, Graphic Design & Video Editing, and several Special settings that change warmth and contrast. You may want to play around with these; the final setting on the test monitor was a bit dark, although there were shades of black we didn’t know existed. Even after calibration Huey will continue to adapt your monitor’s output depending on surrounding lighting conditions. There’s an adjustable slider in its preferences to tell Huey how often you want it to measure ambient light.
This is a consumer product and as such it doesn’t require users to have any knowledge of colour management. It’s pitched at digital photography enthusiasts, gamers and anyone wishing to watch movies on their Mac. This is reflected in its price and simplicity. However, that doesn’t mean it’s useless to graphics professional. Huey is based on the same technology that features in professional-level products; in fact there are features in Huey that aren’t found in Pantone’s professional line-up, such as its constant monitoring of ambient light.
Accurate calibration is by necessity complex, and if colour is mission-critical to your work, then a higher-end workflow calibration package such as Gretag Macbeth’s Eye-One Photo may be more suitable, although it could set you back up to £1,000. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a high-end solution, though, Huey is a great choice.