Even though you may not think it, monitors' colour, brightness and contrast levels can differ wildly...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Overall score:60%


  • Can improve balance in the right circumstances


  • Results not always pleasing, device doesn't fit to screen particularly well via sucker, lack of fine-tuning after initial calibration.


Spyder 3Express monitor calibration tool

Price as reviewed:


Even though you may not think it, monitors’ colour, brightness and contrast levels can differ wildly. This can cause a nuisance as the inaccuracy of what you’re seeing on screen to what you really have for use is actually different – that’s why you may have inaccurate prints, for example. Spyder3Express is an automated calibration device to balance your screen.

Upon taking the Spyder3Express out of the box, it’s clear the setup requires using a ‘sucker’ on your computer’s screen. Perhaps not ideal, and a shame there isn’t a secondary and more sturdy method to adhere to screen through calibration. When the installation CD is inserted, the step-by-step options are easy to follow, but the unit did fall from the screen on two occasions – not ideal.

Following installation a test PC viewed rather magenta, compared to a Mac which became darker and much colder to the eye. With such a discrepancy between installs it feels a little unpredictable. Furthermore the lack of fine-tuning available following calibration is non-existent; it’s a case of on or off.

Given the quality of screens these days, it just feels a little bit like the process was inaccurate and unnecessary. If you’re really hot on colour management then go for a pro-spec system, or spend a bit of time manually correcting – operating systems do provide an array of native manual correction facilities as it is.