Best overall

Datacolor Spyder5Pro

The Spyder5Pro ($189) by Datacolor is the company's middle ground offering in the Spyder5 family. Not quite as expensive as the Elite, but also packing more features than the Express entry model. Should you not require the calibration of monitors built for professional tasks like video editing and creativity apps, the Spyder5Pro is an excellent tool to keep the image being displayed looking great.

Bottom-line: It's the best monitor calibrator for most PC owners.

One more thing: The Spyder5Pro is backed by easy-to-use software.

Why the Spyder5Pro by Datacolor is the best calibrator

There are many calibration tools out there for fine-tuning a monitor to get colors and other settings just right. Not only is calibrating a monitor a must for professionals who work with images and media (like Photoshop and Premiere Pro), but it's also generally a good idea to better protect against eye fatigue. Correctly calibrating a screen with a tool like the Spyder5Pro makes it possible to enjoy a better visual experience with potentially fewer issues with the eyes.

The Spyder5Pro is a rather clever piece of technology. The device is placed on a screen (can be a monitor or laptop) after installing the necessary software. The wizard will then run through steps for the calibration to take place, which involves measuring how bright the room is and adjusting the brightness and other settings accordingly. Think of it like having a professional monitor engineer in your home or office, ready to fix things up on command.

Datacolor's software package can also evaluate the performance of a monitor and is one of the tools we use when reviewing displays. This confirms color accuracy and consistency, and both are important to anyone looking to do some work or enjoy games and movies. The suite will remind you to re-calibrate the display every so often to ensure it's calibrated correctly (in case you change the lighting, move house or location, or the display degrades in performance).

It's possible to calibrate a monitor using software but the end results will be nowhere near that of a hardware tool like one from the Spyder 5 series. For just shy of $190, it's a superb tool to have on hand to keep all your PC displays looking fantastic. As an added bonus, the Spyder family works well with the open source DisplayCAL software — some owners regard this as a better alternative to the Datacolor package.

Best budget

Datacolor Spyder5Express

Priced at $129, the Sypder5Express is the more affordable option from Datacolor, allowing PC owners who do not do much professional work take full advantage of a capable calibration tool. It's the easiest Spyder5 tool to use out of the bunch and doesn't come with more of the advanced features found in the more pricey models.

Bottom-line: It gets the job done and makes things look better on-screen.

One more thing: Calibrate different computer monitors using only one device.

Best for professionals

X-Rite i1Display Pro

The i1Display Pro by X-Rite is an expensive display calibrator, coming in at around $260 but is well worth the cost if used on screens hooked up to a professional editing workstation. The device itself is fast, responsive and reliable and even works with mobile apps on iOS and Android. There are also a bunch of advanced features like being spectrally calibrated and support for broadcast video standards.

Bottom-line: It's everything you need to professionally calibrate a monitor.

One more thing: Features include profile optimization, display trending, display uniformity testing, and more.

Conclusion

The Spyder5 family is an excellent range of calibration tools, covering the entry and professional price points. If you want a little more, the X-Rite i1Display Pro is a pricey calibrator that has everything you need to ensure your screens look great.

Best overall

Datacolor Spyder5Pro

The Spyder5Pro ($189) by Datacolor is the company's middle ground offering in the Spyder5 family. Not quite as expensive as the Elite, but also packing more features than the Express entry model. Should you not require the calibration of monitors built for professional tasks like video editing and creativity apps, the Spyder5Pro is an excellent tool to keep the image being displayed looking great.

Bottom-line: It's the best monitor calibrator for most PC owners.

One more thing: The Spyder5Pro is backed by easy-to-use software.

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