Is there any way I can tweak the display settings to improve the colour rendition on a laptop?
September 4, 2004 8:12 PM   Subscribe

I have an IBM T41 laptop with the high-res 1400x1080 display, which is a great machine. However, the screen isn't great for touching up digital pictures because the colours aren't as good as the CRT on my PC. Is there any way I can tweak the display settings to improve the colour rendition?

The laptop has an ATI video card, and the drivers under display settings have a tab to change the "color profile" which doesn't seem to make much difference.

There is also a "Color" tab where i can move sliders around (Gamma, brightness, contrast for RGB) which seems like it should help, but I clearly don't know how to use it because any change to the settings just makes things worse.
posted by kaefer to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
What software are you using? Photoshop has a color profile app that you can run to adjust things.
posted by dobbs at 8:49 PM on September 4, 2004

AFAIK, you'll never get good colour from an LCD.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:37 PM on September 4, 2004

A small related question; do graphics pro's never use LCDs? I thought CRTs were gradually dissapearing. Is there any alternative?
posted by Meridian at 3:09 AM on September 5, 2004

You need an optical monitor calibration instrument and software. Colorvision makes the most popular ones.

You can get good color from an LCD, but most aren't geared to meet the concerns of graphics pro's. Mac displays, higher-end Sony's, and LaCie are good choices.
posted by stonerose at 7:16 AM on September 5, 2004

You'll want some monitor calibration software. You won't be able to calibrate your LCD to show the full range (the 'gamut') of colours, nor to show the variation in shade that CRTs can manage. But you can certainly calibrate it so that the colours it can display are used properly, and correct for some of its more gross inaccuracies.

The real pros use hardware calibration tools that have a little camera in, but for most people's purposes you can use a software program that asks you to make colour judgements using your eyes.

As mentioned above, Adobe Photoshop comes with a monitor calibrator. The unregistered version of EasyRGB PC apparently has a montor calibrator, but I haven't used this personally, so I can't vouch for it.

Either of these programs will produce a colour profile file for your monitor, which you can then select via the ATI display settings 'colour profile' section.

And Meridian, you're right, graphics pros generally don't use LCDs -- they use gorgeous professional CRTs like these. Although the consumer market for CRTs is declining, the professional market is likely to be around for a while yet.
posted by chrismear at 7:19 AM on September 5, 2004

Those professional CRTs aren't at all expensive! I dropped twice that on a 19" Viewsonic some three years ago, and while it's a good monitor, it certainly isn't pro-quality.

I'm always boggled at how quick hardware prices plummet.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:13 AM on September 5, 2004

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