ColorMunki Smile

Simple Monitor Calibration System

X-Rite's ColorMunki Smile is an affordable, introductory monitor-calibration and -profiling kit, with an emphasis on ease of use. The results are very good and it's the perfect solution for color-management holdouts. The whole process takes 5 minutes and, when through, you'll be able to edit your images with confidence, or shop on the Internet, knowing that the colors are accurate. One caveat: Smile lacks advanced controls and isn't meant for professionals.

In the box, you'll find a nicely designed USB colorimeter with an adjustable counterweight to balance it securely on the screen. There's a gasket on the bottom of the colorimeter to block any stray light. The software uses onscreen animation prompts, or there's an instructional video on the webpage to walk you through the process. Essentially, there's one step: You place the colorimeter over an onscreen target and click start. There are no options to select, so there's nothing to screw up.

Set to a gamma of 2.2 and a color temperature of 6,500 K, the program works with your screen's existing brightness (you can adjust the brightness later). The colorimeter reads a series of colors and gray patches, builds a profile, and saves your profile automatically—annoyingly, you can't name it. When the process finishes, you can view a before and after of your display.

Smile's scope is narrow. It doesn't let you customize settings such as gamma or color temperature. There's no ability to read ambient light, nor feature to track your screen's Delta E or to measure light falloff at the edges. Does it do a good job? Yes! Should you get it? If you're on a budget, and (for whatever reason) still haven't calibrated your screen, ColorMunki Smile will, well, make you smile!

Company: X-Rite, Incorporated
Price: $99
Rating: 4.5
Hot:  Simplified color management
Not:  No customization