At Engadget, we have spoken more than once about the importance of calibration. And is that when we buy a monitor we have two options. The first is to start using it from the first moment we plug it in. And the second, take our time to calibrate it and get the most out of it. We understand that it is not necessary to explain to you which route we usually take. That is why we have provided you with five websites to calibrate our monitor easily and for free.
Monitors are calibrated at the factory, but there are times when this calibration doesn’t convince us, or we think we can do more to faithfully reproduce the colors on our screen. The results we get from these tools won’t be comparable to what a professional calibration probe can do for us, but we can get a little closer with just a few simple steps.
Online monitor test
Online Monitor Test is a completely free website where they offer helpful tools to calibrate our monitor. Its tools are based on color patterns, where our eyes will judge the representation of colors on our monitor.
The first of the reasons is based on whether the different shades of the black and white spectrum can be differentiated with the current configuration of our monitor. Otherwise, you have to adjust its brightness and contrast.
With this tool, we can also check whether our monitor can output color gradients without problem. In the menu we will have different patterns to choose from, and the idea is to be aware of “ghost images” or any traces that may appear in the image.
The main advantage of Lagom is the information it gives you to do each of its tests correctly. Also with different models, in Lagom we will have the possibility to do contrast tests, gamma calibration, sharpness adjustments and much more.
It is advisable to go through the different patterns one by one and follow the given steps. This way, we can start by adjusting the brightness, contrast and sharpness of our monitor, and check if the colors are reproduced evenly when we do a viewing angle test.
The tool is quite comprehensive, and it takes a long time to explain what each test is, in case this is your first time using this type of tool. In addition, they allow us to download the patterns for use on other monitors, all in a compressed file of around 120 KB.
Photo Friday is a great tool developed especially for those who want to share photos. However, what interests us about your website is its calibrator, which allows us to adjust the brightness and contrast through its pattern.
The tool is quite simple, since it is based on only one test, and it offers us a gray scale where we will have to adjust the parameters described so that at the end of the test, the blacks are really black and not gray, just like whites.
As a recommendation, the ideal would be to press F11 to activate full screen mode, turn off the room lights, and observe the monitor in our usual position.
W4ZT is another website that collects some settings on one page to calibrate our monitor. Here we can change parameters like its color, gamma, contrast and brightness. In addition, they offer explanations of what our monitor should and should not represent.
The page is quite simple to understand, although it may be a bit outdated since it dates from 2002. It contains some recommendations, and even official calibration tools for monitors.
Monitor calibration and gamma evaluation
On this site, we can find a page entirely dedicated to the gamma parameter. In monitors, this parameter is usually between 1.8 and 2.2, and on this website we can find tools that allow us to achieve these values as faithfully as possible.
To make this possible, it is helped by several models in which we will have to adjust the gamma of our monitor so that the background of the images coincides with the boxes that appear in the middle. Ideally, step away from the monitor to verify that the colors match.
The web author explains why he prefers a gamma of 1.8 on his monitor to the default of 2.2, arguing that the main reason is that he personally finds it “too dark”.