How do I calibrate my Windows laptop screen?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by fred_monsone, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. I use a Toshiba Satellite Pro and would like to calibrate my screen so that colours look the same on screen and when printed by Photobox. I have tried to follow the instructions that I found through the help guide on my machine but I'm not sure that's good enough.
    Do I need to buy a purpose-made device e.g. color munki or can I take my laptop to a lab and have them do that for me? Any help gratefully received. Thanks.
  2. My initial response to this is that you're never going to get a good match between screen view and print by using a laptops own screen.
    I've spent ages trying to match screen and print with some good quality lcd screens, without 100% success, using Spyder and its print matching software.
    Most comparative reviews suggest laptop screen quality is significantly worse than a separate screen - maybe you should consider a good quality external screen ?
    IMHO (as they say) I don't think the cost of buying a calibration device, or having a lab calibrate would be worth it on any 'normal' laptop.
  3. I don't agree with the above post, in my experience it is worth calibrating your laptop. When I first started to get into serious digital post-processing all I had was my laptop, being a student there was no way that I could afford even a basic LCD let alone one for accurate color work. But I did buy a basic calibrator, a spyder2express, and it did make a big improvement over my uncalibrated laptop. Sure it wasn't ideal, and no I could never get a exact match between print and screen, but I found that in most cases, the prints were good enough for me, and they were significantly better matched than prints made before I learned about calibration. These days I have a much better external monitor that I'm able to match my prints to screen just about perfectly, but editing on a laptop is possible even though it won't be as accurate or easy to work with as an external monitor. So I think buying a budget monitor calibrator, such as a spyder3express or a huey for your laptop would be worth it until you either can afford a much better external monitor.
  4. Agree with, Trevor. May as well do it if you can. My laptops always show a great
    improvement. I use spyder's for the last 7 or 8 years.
  5. If you are serious about photo work, it is well worth the money to get a colorimeter such as the Spyder or ColorMunki. They work the same on laptop screens as standalone screens. You need your own colorimeter as the colors will shift with time as you use it so you need to periodically re-calibrate.
    If your laptop can connect to an external monitor, it is worth considering getting one for photo editing. Laptop screens are generally not intended for photo work and have a very narrow angle of view where you see the colors correctly. Move your head a little bit out of that narrow angle and it can be very hard to tell if what you see is true black or gray or if that orange is really red. You can get separate monitors that are intended for photo editing work. LaCie makes an entire line of such LCD screens and most makers have one model for graphic designers. However expect to pay a lot of money for such a monitor.
  6. Agree with Trevor, it depends more on the Laptop quality, than if it is a Laptop screen. Toshiba Sat Pro has pretty good color to begin with. My wife has one, though mine is better a 20" HP Pavilion with NVIDIA Geforce 8800M GTS for graphics. Many times a good graphic card makes all the difference in adjusting a monitor. A poor one can make the best of monitors look bad.
    Its screen does not have as narrow a view, and its very easy to see if it is True black or colors are true, when you display on the screen a color chart and zone scale. Adjusted so that you can see every zone correctly, you can get a true black. Many times is is a lack of contrast, that creates grayed blacks, not the capability of the monitor.
    Its not perfect, but darn close, enough so its difficult to tell any difference.
  7. I just found a spyder3express for £40. WIll give that a go. Thanks to all of you guys for the helpful feedback. I really appreciate it.

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