The Colormunki Smile is a simple to use, entry-level screen calibration tool and software package that is, as the blurb on the box reads provides “amazingly simple monitor calibration”. But is it? Doug Harman investigates in this, the Colormunki’s full best4reviews test.
The Colormunki Smile is a simple device that looks a little like a small, fat computer mouse with a long USB lead that must be plugged into a powered port on your PC or Mac before you do this, the software that comes with the device must be installed (here on my iMac running OS X 10.6.8) and only then should the device be plugged in.
A simple quick start guide runs you through the installation and set up process and the hardest part of getting thing ready to calibrate your screen is getting the thing to hang cleanly against the screen. A small counterweight can be moved up and down the USB cable that should run over and down the back of the monitor/display to be calibrated. The cable itself needs a little straightening as the Smile needs sit flush with the surface of your display in order to calibrate properly.
Once you’re happy and the Smile is dangling in the centre of the screen ( the computer needs to be restarted to complete the installation) you simply follow the on screen instructions. An indicator shows you exactly where the Smile should be positioned, so there’s not worries getting that right. Then you click an on screen “start” button and the calibration process begins.
A seers of colours appear in a box on the screen, starting with red, green and then blue, then through a variety of hues and brightnesses, black and white zones, all appear and disappear as the calibration process runs. A progress bar runs across the bottom of the display and in total, the full calibration of my iMac took around six minutes.
The newly calibrated screen is left with “before” and “after” buttons that you can click to assess the changes. The new calibration setting is immediately applied and once you’ve had fun clicking the before and after buttons, you can click done and the software quits. You can then pack the Colormunki Smile away until you next need to calibrate the screen.
Screen calibration should be carried out regularly or whenever you move the display or the ambient lighting in the room in which the display is to be use is changed, but helpfully, the Colormunki Smile software will notify you when it’s time to re-calibrate your display, which is very cool indeed.
And that's it. It worked quickly was extremely easy to set up and use and the improvement in my monitor calibration was very evident when clicking the before and after buttons once it was completed. A great little bit of kit that is a fast and easy to use calibration device, the Colormunki Smile is great value for money too.
Fast, easy to use and set up and available at a price that won't break the bank, the Colormunki Smile makes a great entry-level display calibration tool. And so, if colour consistency across devices is important to you and it should be if you want colour accuracy particularly when printing images or using multiple displays, for example, then the Smile should, well, make you smile.