When I finally caved and decided I needed to start calibrating my monitor to ensure my images would look how I intended when people viewed them on monitors other then my own, I tested three monitor calibrators to see which one I would like the best. All three calibrators did a great job, but at the end of the testing, the Spyder5 and Colormunki Design returned to the shelf and the i1 Display Pro is the calibrator I continue to use.
The i1 Display Pro is made by the same company as the Colormunki Design. For me, the biggest draw to the i1 Display Pro was that it is very easy to set up and use. The installation was quick and easy and the self-guided calibration process was completed within a matter of minutes. I am not the most tech-savvy person so I always appreciate hardware that is intuitive and easy for me.
Despite being very simple to set up and use, the i1 Display Pro offers advanced options above what you get with the more simple calibrators. The i1 Display Pro offers both a basic and advanced mode so you can choose whether you want to exercise more precise control or enjoy the ease of simple calibration. I love this because the monitor can grow with you. When I first used a calibrator, all I wanted was to do a basic monitor calibration to ensure my colors were correct. However, I like having the option to get more advanced and do more with the calibrator as I try new projects.
My favorite part about using the Display Pro is the simplicity in creating various profiles to match your editing locations. For example, I created profiles for when I am editing during the day with window light and for when I am editing at night with overhead light. Those two profiles cover about 90% of my editing time, but offer completely different ambient light settings. Now I can quickly switch between the profiles depending on when I happen to be editing images. The Display Pro is especially designed for this convenience as it has specific tools that can be employed to measure the ambient light and even warn you when the ambient light has changed. This is awesome because I edit on a laptop sometimes and there is no way I would be able to re-calibrate my screen during changing conditions. These profiles let me do it one time for most of the conditions I will encounter. Then, I can simply switch between profiles as needed.
Most importantly, I was very happy with the results I obtained using the Display Pro. I felt the colors were accurate and the prints I received matched very well with with my computer display except for a couple occasions where the colors of the print appeared to be a little washed out, but overall the results were very very good. I ran test prints with all three calibrators and I felt the prints from the i1 Display Pro were just a hair more accurate than those with the other monitor calibrators. In doing some research about what others thought, the consensus I found mostly agreed with me that the i1 Display Pro is probably the most accurate calibrator out there.
At the end of the day, I think you can be happy and get good results with most of the calibrators out there. If budget is your main concern, there are some great Syder and ColorMunki models at lower prices, but if you want to spring for my favorite calibrator, the i1 Display Pro is still very affordable. As of the time of this article, the i1 Display Pro was available on Amazon for $235.
Be sure to check out all our favorites at our Recommended Gear Page.