i1Display Pro is one of the two the latest products from X-Rite – the other, the ColorMunki Display, was looked at in a separate review. The i1Display Pro provides the next level of monitor and projector calibration for the consumer as well as the prosumer photographic market and graphic design community. But what is the i1Display Pro? It is a monitor and projector calibration and profiling product that makes high quality calibration affordable to those who want to have superior quality image quality on a non-professional budget.
The i1Display Pro functions in two main areas. One is for monitor/projector calibration and the other is for ambient light profiling – this model provides both for luminance and color. Anyone who has worked with photographs for any time knows the problems with getting the image from the camera to the computer and having it come out to reasonably like what you shot can be tricky. This is where monitor calibration comes into play.
When you get the i1Display Pro you get a USB colorimeter that also has a built in ambient light monitor that will help you account for the amount of light in your workspace around your monitor. This is different than the ColorMunki Display only takes into account luminance, the i1 Display Pro also takes into account color when measuring the ambient light. What this all means is that as the light around your monitor changes, the i1Display Pro will make adjustments so that your monitor will produce the proper colors.
There is a software disk and a small getting started booklet that you can use to install the software. Installation is a breeze and essentially is nothing more than running the disk to install, rebooting your computer, and plugging in the Display to a USB port and then you will be off and running.
After installing the software, to use the i1Display Pro as a profiler you first the select i1 Profiler software icon. You have a number of options such as display, projector, or printer. The i1Display Pro does not do printer profiles, but since this is the same software that is used for some of the upper level X-Rite profilers, if you upgrade to a higher level system, you will use the same software. So your choices are really for monitor calibration or projector calibration. Make your choice based on what you are profiling.
The procedures are basically the same except that with a projector you position the unit to focus on the projected image instead of the monitor. There is a basic mode where everything is selected for you as well as an advanced mode where you can make your own selections.
The beauty of the i1Display Pro system is that it walks you through everything that you need to create a color calibrated monitor or projector. Depending on the mode that you choose will determine the number of options that you will be asked to choose. Once you make a couple your selections you are requested to hang the product over a spot on the monitor and the system takes over.
Basically what happens is that the software displays specific colors on your monitor and the i1Display Pro uses its colorimeter to measure the colors displayed in relation to what it thinks it should see. After it completes it process it then gives you the opportunity view the before and after results. You are then asked to save the profile.
You then get the option to be reminded to profile after one, two, three, or four weeks. This is because the monitor will start to creep out of balance from general use and needs to be recalibrated over time.
The i1Display Pro is very easy to use and provides very remarkable results. The software – in either mode, really walks you through the process and makes the whole process very simple. I have used the original and the results for monitor calibration are very similar.
The main differences between the i1Display Pro and the ColorMunki Display include the higher level software that gives you much more control over your calibration options. You get a much greater control over white point, luminance, contrast ratio, and gamma. You can also optimize your profiles, have a quality check and trending of your display quality over time, as well as a Pantone application for spot color optimization.
If you do any amount of work with photographs you will want to have a calibrated monitor so that you can be assured that the colors of what you shot match the colors that are on your monitor. If you are looking for a high quality, low priced system to get accurate color representation on your computer monitor, then I very highly recommend i1Display Pro.