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ColorMunki Smile Monitor Calibration Review

ColorMunki Smile Monitor Calibration Review - The colormunki smile is an "amazingly simple monitor calibration" device designed to calibrate your screen with minimum hassle.

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Category : Display Devices
Product : X-Rite ColorMunki Smile
Price : £77
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
ColorMunki Smile

Designed to give accurate colour from your computer screen, and designed to be easy to use, the ColorMunki Smile is an entry level calibration device, available for around £77. We find out how it performs in our review.

ColorMunki Smile Features


ColorMunki Smile

Key Features

  • Calibrate LCD & LED displays – laptop or desktop
  • Super easy and intuitive wizard driven software – no color science knowledge required
  • Calibrate one or multiple monitors for color consistency everywhere
  • Uses the same color engine technology found in X-Rite’s professional level color calibration solutions
  • Before and after image shows instant results
  • Calibration reminder notifies you when it is time to re-calibrate your display
  • Easy to follow on-line help videos - no extra manuals needed
System requirements:
  • WinXP 32 / Vista 32 / Win7 32/64
  • Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8
  • 500mb RAM, Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2
  • 500mb available disk space, USB port
  • 1024x768 pixels
In the box you will find a ColorMunki Smile colorimeter with counterweight, ColorMunki Smile software for calibrating monitors, and printed Quick Start Guide.

ColorMunki Smile includes an end user license agreement (EULA) allowing a single user the ability to install and run unlimited installations of ColorMunki software on any number of computers that he/she owns.

ColorMunki Smile Handling

Inside the box is a quick start guide that advises you to install the CD before connecting the USB cable to the computer. Installation of the software is quick, taking roughly 1 minute, and at the end a restart of the computer is required.

Once the software is loaded, it takes over the screen and guides you through the process of connecting the ColorMunki Smile and then calibrating the screen. It takes roughly 5 minutes to calibrate one screen and once complete will show you a before and after photo you can view. During calibration the software doesn't like the idea of you using another monitor, as it displays the program full screen on both. 

The software supports calibration of more than one monitor.

A counterweight on the cable helps hold the ColorMunki Smile in place on the screen and it doesn't seem to have any problems on the front of a vertical monitor, whereas with some other calibration devices it helped to tilt the monitor backwards slightly. It would be nice if the cable was a little longer as it can be awkward getting the device to reach the monitor(s) if the computer is under the desk.

The software interface is quite basic, with options for a reminder to re-profile the LCD (every week, every 2 weeks, every month and never), automatically check for software updates, and display settings whether standard LCD or LED. Other controls on the software let you register, go to the home page and exit the application. Re-calibrating the screen takes the same length of time, and there is a progress bar on the bottom of the screen.

ColorMunki Smile Performance

There was a very subtle difference when calibrating the EIZO FlexScan SX2762W - a high end monitor. However with a more standard 22 inch monitor, there was a more noticeable difference.

Before and After

The software made a fairly noticeable difference to one of the older monitors we have in the office (Shown above, we took the same photo before and after with the camera set to custom white balance from white card), with a slightly less yellow appearance and adjusted brightness levels. However with a new monitor there was no noticeable change, so the performance of the device will depend greatly on how well your monitor already performs.

Value For Money

The ColorMunki Smile is available for £77 from Amazon UK, this makes it one of the cheapest monitor calibration devices available. A Spyder4Express is available for £88 as a comparison from Amazon UK. Other monitor calibration devices we have reviewed include the Spyder4 Elite, available for £128 and the ColorMunki Display, available for £112.

ColorMunki Smile Verdict

Those looking for an extremely easy to use monitor calibration device will find it in the ColorMunki Smile, and its low price and ability to calibrate more than one monitor is commendable. However, it would be nice if there was a quicker re-calibrate or re-check mode easily accessible. (Instead of having to wait until the reminder pops up, and additional reminder options would be nice). For those that find other devices overly complicated will appreciate this, however the way it completely takes over both monitors is a little frustrating.

The results provided by the calibration device can be noticeable if you monitor is in poor shape, however those with new or well calibrated screens may find little or no noticeable difference, and it's at this level that one of the more expensive devices is recommended. The price of the ColorMunki Smile is £77, which is very nearly what you would pay for a new 21.5 inch monitor, which is likely to be a big improvement, particularly if your monitor is old, however for those with multiple systems and monitors it could be very good value for money.

ColorMunki Smile Pros

Compact calibration device
Good value for money
Calibrates multiple monitors
Can be installed on multiple PCs
Easy to use

ColorMunki Smile Cons

Re-calibrating a previously calibrated screen is no quicker than before
Over-simplified user interface takes over whole screen
Could not install on a Windows XP machine

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

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