50 Shades of Grey – An important balancing act

I get it, you are taking about balancing the instant entertainment that we are exposed to with sitting down with a good book!

Although I do agree that modern thought-free pastimes must be avoided with less time being spent on passive entertainment this is not what Im talking about as my kindle only has 16 shades of grey and I don’t think the book of that title would be of interest to me.

Getting it all right – The Blue Zone

My current library/study computer is an Acer 1830t, a relatively small and capable 11.6″  lappy which was perfect for me… until I powered it on.

There is a single issue with this laptop (for me)  the screen has a natural blue bias… not as extreme as some sony Vaio models I have played with but strong enough to make using this laptop an uncomfortable experience.

Time for rose tinted glasses?

As fun as rose tinted glasses are I don’t think they would help with this issue but luckily windows has a screen calibration tuner which allows a user to properly calibrate gamma, contrast, brightness and Colour mixing ratios.

Ok captain Exaggeration, how bad was this problem?

Below is a screen-dump of the windows display calibration tool, basically all of the colour bars are to represent shades of grey with no perceivable colour tint present.

 The photo below shows the display before calibration with a noticeable blue tint, in reality this is far more pronounced as the camera employed some photographic wizardry which changed the representation of the actual display (yes even my camera thought that there was something wrong with the image it was being presented with).

Below is the same tool whenever I had dialled down the  blue in the colour mix, my camera (a Lumix LX3, so not a too poor quality device) didn’t employ as much colour correction but still didn’t  show a true image.



Im not convinced, those pictures both look different but bad.

Yes that is due to in-camera colour correction and the difficult nature of taking a photo of an emissive glossy display.

I cheated in my calibration, I hooked an external Xerox display to my laptop which gives a very good colour representation and ran 2 instances of  the colour calibration tool on both it and the laptop display simultaneously and ensured the laptop display matched the accurate external screen.


This calibration worked and i’m now very comfortable using this  laptop display. The final colour calibration mix that I needed to employ is below.

Ok im sold, where is this tool?

Its built into Windows and the easiest way to start it is to press the start button (on Windows Vista+) and type in calibrate, the colour calibration tool will then be listed Open it and then follow the straightforward instructions that Microsoft provide.


Update: a good friend of mine is the owner of a professional screen clibration tool and was kind enough to allow me to use it in this laptop, the new calibration is amazing and closer to my reference displays than anything I had ever seen before but it did reveal a shocking characteristic of this display… it can only cover 58% of the sRGB gamut :( perhaps its time to go screen shopping for something like this legendary device

I have attached the colour calibrated profile here, this may not give the same results on your Timeline 1830 as it did on mine but  should hopefully give a better experience (assuming Acer have some form of controls on what they release) (Standard monitor types) 1830t-1