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Review: huey from Pantone and GretagMacbeth

Easy-to-use color calibration system gets the job done.

Color is critical on any job. Making sure you have the right color on your monitor when your job prints, however, can be frustrating. Thanks to Pantone and GretagMacbeth, however, there is a basic solution to these headaches: the huey.

The huey is a simple, easy-to-use color calibration system for your monitor that can be used by anyone. In fact, Pantone and co-developer GretagMacbeth (which is now owned by X-Rite) have marketed this entry-level tool toward "high-end photo hobbyists, gamers, serious Web shoppers, and other computer users that want correct color."? Pantone, however, has remarked that higher-level users such as designers and digital photographers also are utilizing the tool.

Getting started with the huey takes no time at all: Simply install the software, plug the huey into a USB port, launch the software, and follow the step-by-step on-screen instructions until you reach a final profile for your monitor. During the calibration process, the huey measures the ambient light in your work area, determines the way your monitor displays color, and adjusts the monitor"?s settings. You can select from several presets for what your workflow tends to be. For instance there is Web Browsing and Photo Editing, Graphic Design and Video Editing, and Warm and Cool contrast modes. All this takes just minutes.

Following these initial adjustments, the huey has another great feature that should impress: Keep the huey in its cradle and plugged into the USB port, it will continually adjust your monitor to account for any variations in ambient light. This assures you that your color will be the same"?no matter what time of day or the amount of light in your work space. If you do not keep your huey plugged in, there is a reminder every other week that prompts you to recalibrate your monitor.

The Pantone huey can calibrate and profile LCD as well as CRT monitors. With its small portable design, it"?s likely that just about anyone can benefit from its ease of use and terrific results. Price: $89.

Jaxon Cook is the art director of The Big Picture magazine.

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