Spyder5 express review

Datacolor Spyder 5 express - Review

Having used the spyder 5 express for a couple of months it's time to draw a conclusion

Hardware

The spyder 5 express is a small plastic box with a protective cover over the calibration-sensor. Once the cap is removed it acts as a height adjustment for hanging the device on a monitor. It has a reasonably long USB-cable which is long enough for me to use it on all three of my monitors without using an extension. The case is made entirely from plastic, but that shouldn't be a problem. Important to note is, that the two more expensive models(pro/elite) have an integrated ambient-light sensor which will allow for a more accurate calibration.

Software

Datacolor has their own calibration software for use with the spyder products. Depending on the product, more features will be available(express, pro, elite). The software is simple to use and guides you through setting up all your monitors. I prefer to use foss-software, thats why I went with DisplayCAL, which offers full compatibility with douzens of calibration devices and is avaible at no cost on most plattforms. It also lets you use one spyder device to calibrate multiple computers, since it doesn't requiere any sort of licence key.

Usage

Using the device is pretty easy, after installing either the official software or DisplayCAL both will direct you through the setup an calibration of your monitors. The calibration will take some time, usually 30min per monitor. It is recommended to recalibrate monitors from time to time, as the colors can change/degrade as the monitor ages.

Verdict

The Spyder 5 express is a great piece of hardware and is easy to use. The end results will vary depending on your screens, but I have been able to get the colors on my 3 all diferent monitors to match pretty well, which is good enough for me as a hobbyist. I would recommend the spyder 5 for anyone looking to upgrade their workstation for better color accuracy and people bothered by the missmatching colors on their multi-screen setups. For people who are certaint that they are going to be doing alot of prints it might be worth to directly invest in one of the better models, such as the Spyder5 pro.