ColorVision Spyder vs Pantone Huey Pro Monitor Calibration Review


If you are in the market for a monitor color calibrator, you probably know the two major prosumer brand devices – Pantone Huey and ColorVision Sypder. After going back and forth I settled on getting the Huey Pro.

First Experience

Now I’ve used ColorVision Spyder Express to calibrate a lab of computers before. It works ok but ColorVision has a very unfriendly model/price options. The express is the same hardware unit as the pro or elite unit. However you pay alot more to get software that uses the same sensor to do more. The Pantone Huey is equal to the ColorVision Spyder Express. The Huey Pro is equal to the Spyder Pro but one is $75 and the other is $200.

Now I got my Pantone Huey Pro right as I went on a vacation so I packed the Huey Pro in with a mac laptop and a pc laptop. I first connected the unit to my pc laptop, installation was smooth and simple. The unit itself is much smaller and more interactive than the ColorVision Spyder. The Spyder is a massive unit in comparison without any indication that it is doing anything at all. Also the Huey color test program feels like it would do a better job than the Spyder but still seems lacking in thoroughness. The unit runs through a greyscale color bar but then only tests 100% Red, Green and Blue. Personally I don’t know why it doesn’t run through 0-100% of Black, Red, Blue, and Green to get the full curve for each color.

Once it completes you can choose screen temperature and screen gamma.

The Results

Going from a completely uncalibrated screen to a calibrated screen with the Pantone Huey Pro is disappointing.

My Intel Macbook running Snow Leopard failed to complete the calibration saying a sense misread occurred. Turns out Pantone’s software doesn’t support the latest version of Mac OS X.

My Windows 7 PC laptop completed the calibration and no visual color changes occurred. This may be a windows 7 error or a miscompatibility¬†with the Intel Atom internal video card but it was just as disappointing as the Macbook’s failure. Or maybe my sensor is dead and a working Huey Pro works great (though I doubt it, I ran the calibration with the sensor not on the monitor and it failed to complete the calibration)


Don’t waste your time on the Pantone Huey Pro. They aren’t in the market for software development. The software hasn’t been updated in 3 years. Just buy the ColorVision Spyder even though on paper it is the more¬†inferior¬†monitor calibrator and more expensive because at least it works with modern computers.

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I'm a 35 year old UIUC Computer Engineer building mobile apps, websites and hardware integrations with an interest in 3D printing, biotechnology and Arduinos.

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