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Datacolor Spyder4Elite Monitor Calibration Review

Daniel Bell takes a looks at Datacolor's Spyder4Elite Monitor Calibration device.

|  Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite in Display Devices
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Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite

The Datacolor Spyder4Elite was released in January alongside the Spyder4Express and Spyder4Pro. The Express version offers basic functionality, with the Pro version giving more control and the Elite version offering professional capability. It is designed to make it easy to calibrate your monitor so you can view and edit images with confidence. The Spyder4Elite is available now for around £160.00.

Datacolor Spyder4Elite Features

Spyder4Elite works with your laptop, multiple monitors, front projector, television (with paid software upgrade on website), iPad and iPhone, calibrating to show true-to-life colours and luminance adjusted for precise shadow/highlight detail. It has a patented 7-colour sensor and each unit is tuned in the factory. It also has double-shielded colour filters for an even closer match to CIE colour standards and improved long term stability. The ReCAL feature makes it quick and easy to recalibrate your display to compensate for changes that occur over time. An additional sensor detects changes to surrounding light and adapts the display luminance accordingly.

Key features:

  • Automated colour & brightness calibration
  • Full-spectrum colour sensor
  • Single sensor calibrates all your displays
  • Improved accuracy and stability
  • Fast re-calibration assistant
  • Adapts display to surrounding light
  • Spyder4Elite software options for greater control
Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite

Datacolor Spyder4Elite Handling

As well as the unit itself, there is also a stand, where it can be left to measure the light in the room and adjust your screen display. The lead coming from the unit has a counterweight which can be moved up and down. The USB cable is fairly long so if you have your computer tucked away it will still reach.

The use the Spyder4Elite you need to install the software, there is a disc but this immediately said the software on the disc was out of date and directed me to download the new version from the Datacolor website. The installation is straight forward, you need an activation code from the CD sleeve and when installed there are step-by-step instructions on using the unit.

Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite Screenshot 1
  Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite Screenshot 3

Initially there is a checklist to ensure you are prepared to go, i.e. your monitor has fully warmed up, device plugged in, displays settings reset. Then you simply follow the rest of the on screen instructions until it is ready to perform the calibration. The program takes a few minutes while it emits different colours to the device. These are read and measured by the device and you are presented with the calibrated view of monitor. There is a button so you can toggle between calibrated and uncalibrated, showing the difference that has been made. Now you can save your new display profile.

Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite Screenshot 4   Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite Screenshot 9
Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite Screenshot 11   Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite Screenshot 12

Datacolor Spyder4Elite Performance

When toggling between the calibrated and uncalibrated views you can clearly see the difference and it's almost certain you'll be impressed. If you are able to keep the Spyder4Elite attached to your computer you can set the software to recalibrate from every day to every sixth months. If you are a laptop user you'll have to remember to plug it in every so often. When you restart your computer, your display profile will automatically be reloaded.

You can use the Spyder4Elite on an iPhone or iPad. You have to download the SpyderGallery app and an extra piece of software for your computer. Both your computer and Spyder4Elite unit need to be on the same Wi-Fi network. Once calibrated, you can view your images through the app. If you aren't in the app you can't see the calibrated screen.

Datacolor Spyder4Elite Verdict

If you rely on accurate colour to be displayed on your computer, the Spyder4Elite is a very useful piece of kit. It is extremely easy to use and calibration will be done within a matter of minutes. At £160 the Spyder4Elite is expensive, but as it is in its fourth generation, it can be relied on to do your colour calibration perfectly. For those who have never even considered their monitor calibration, you're bound to be extremely impressed by the difference it makes. If you are on a tighter budget, remember there are cheaper Spyder models with less features.

The Datacolor Spyder4Elite is easy to use and gives impressive results.

Datacolor Spyder4Elite Pros

Easy to use
Impressive results
Supports a range of displays

Datacolor Spyder4Elite Cons

Quite expensive


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5 Jul 2013 9:50AM
These colorimeter reviews (also true for the ColorMunki Display) seem to regard a drastic before/after colour change as an indicator of quality. Ehm ... it's not about changing colours strongly but correctly.

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