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Kit i1Display Pro review


X-Rite i1Display Pro review - Part 1

Published on July 12, 2011   |   Updated on November 30, 2020


Since 2011 it was the best high-end probe from X-Rite and it must still be a great product because X-Rite still keeps it in its new 2019 range. Certainly, the X-Rite range is now covered by an i1Display Pro PLUS model whose only new feature is to manage recent very bright screens. That's what I mean!

In July 2011, X-Rite launched the replacement for the famous Eye One Display II, the i1 Display Pro and its new i1Profiler software. Everything was new: the colorimeter with (organic) glass filter like the new Colormunki Display and the software. In 2020 and at $240, it is no longer the most expensive sensor on the market since the release of the new Datacolor SpyderX Elite and the new i1Display Pro PLUS version released in October 2019. This new i1Display Pro PLUS model is just a version of the i1Display Pro capable of calibrating particularly bright monitors.
To this, the i1Display Pro adds countless adjustment possibilities and benefits from the latest technological advances to ideally calibrate all screens on the market, even the latest wide-range LCD panels or laptop or iMac screens and perform all possible quality controls. So we have to deal with the ultimate refinements in hardware and software. On the other hand, this software is not intended for beginners because even in "basic" calibration mode, there are many options and will not always talk to novices. For them, X-Rite has just released the new i1Display Studio which replaces the ColorMunki Display.



In a few words...


X-Rite i1Display Pro

This i1Display Pro is simply the best monitor calibration sensor on the market today with the new version, i1Display Pro PLUS for brightness sreens ! - Read my conclusion  

  More offers...  
CDN$ 346.75



Introduction to the X-Rite i1Display Pro

This screen and projector calibration sensor is included in the X-Rite 2019 range of screen sensors. It becomes the "mid-range" of the Expert range with the new model (October 2019) i1Display Pro PLUS which allows to calibrate very bright screens (up to 2000 nits). The i1Display Pro stops at 1000 nits. The i1Display Pro also allows you to calibrate all screen gamuts, regardless of the panel technology or the projectors. In addition, thanks to the ADC (Automatic Display Control) function, it allows laptop or iMac monitors with only one brightness setting to be calibrated much better. Finally, they have a large number of very advanced quality control modules at the end of calibration. 

New!  The latest version of i1Profiler is now compatible with MacOS Catalina 10.15.

The calibration kit and its box

The X-Rite i1Display Pro display sensor is sold with a new three-channel RGB colorimeter with organic glass filters for long life and, like most display calibration sensors, with a small mobile counterweight for ballasting the USB cable. This sensor also has a conventional screw thread for mounting on a tripod to calibrate a video projector. The kit typically contains the installation drivers as well as the calibration software, i1Profiler (which allows you to calibrate a printer if you have a spectrophotometer), brand new. Nothing but classic!

The i1Display Pro and its ambient light diffuser   The i1Display Pro and its sensor

Main features

  • High end technological ergonomic multifunction measuring instrument;
  • Organic glass filters on three channels and no longer in gelatin.
  • The latest generation i1Profiler screen and projector calibration and characterization software, compatible with all modern display and projection technologies, including LED and LCD screens with extended gamut, laptop, iMac, iPad screens, especially since version 1.6.1, major evolution! Download the latest version 1.8 for high definition and Mojave display support.
  • Infinite adjustment of white point, luminance, contrast ratio, gamma, etc.
  • Intelligent iterative characterization: Adaptive technology that measures and analyzes the chromatic capabilities of each single screen for increased profile accuracy;
  • Intelligent ambient lighting control: measurement, compensation and continuous monitoring of ambient lighting conditions;
  • Flare Correct™ mesure et compensation des reflets à la surface de l'écran;
  • Automatic adjustment of screen controls (ADC) to speed up the characterization process and avoid manual adjustments;
  • Video projector calibration;
  • Calibrate and characterize multiple screens within a workgroup;
  • Quality control of the display and monitoring of trends over time.

  Technical specifications  
  i1Display Pro Average price : $245.00
i1Display - RGB + ambient light colorimeter
i1Profiler 3.3.0 Mac & 3.3.0 PC
  Panel technology 9 choices (including the most recent 4K)
Yes, accurately
Color temperature
Infinite possibilities
  Gamma setting Yes
Ambient light control
  Multi-screen alignment Yes
  Projector calibration Yes

The installation of the i1Profiler software (in its latest version)

Very important note! Especially since version 1.6.1 of July 2015, remember to update your software well because this is not yet another evolution with bug fixes but a major update. In addition, the latest version 3.1.1 of October 2019 is compatible with MacOS Catalina. However, i1Profiler is not yet compatible with MacOS Big Sur on M1 Apple Mac.


Download the latest version of the software and XRD!

The i1Profiler software (PC and MAC), sold with the i1Display pro is also available for free download if you have another compatible colorimeter - Download i1Profiler 3.3.0 (August 2020)   (i1Profiler 3.1.1 is Mac OS Catalina compatible.)

Download XRD 3.0.120 or 3.0.114 (March. 2020)    if your system does not recognize the colorimeter.


It is particularly simple and classic. Nothing particular to say, so! When you click on the application icon, the language detection is now automatic. Then, when opening, the software will open on the main menu which will give access to several options:

1 - Use mode: "Basic" or "Advanced" in a very nice dark grey interface.

  i1Profiler interface in "Basic" mode.
  User mode: "Basic" above: it is then possible to calibrate a screen, a projector or a printer...
In "Advanced" mode below: it is possible to calibrate the same devices but with more options such as monitoring assurance, color temperature selection or screen uniformity.
  i1Profiler interface in "Advanced" mode.

2 - License: Depending on the license purchased, you will also be able to calibrate your printer (but you will need a spectrophotometer).

Important note! The iPad is not calibrated by this software but by a dedicated software that will, however, use the same sensor.

3 - Application parameters: choice of the sensor used for the calibration below (Automatic).

  4 - Application information: Software and XRD version as well as the search for updates (automatic or not).

5 - Help: video tutorials or online help.






Calibration with i1Profiler step by step

The i1Profiler software allows you to characterize a screen or projector from its main window in two user modes: "Basic" and "Advanced". Depending on the mode chosen, there will be more or less options. I will make the clarification whenever necessary but I will make this tutorial with the Advanced Mode.

A - First tab: Screen settings / default settings

We will calibrate our monitor and for that we will click on the "Characterization" button in the menu on the top left

  When you click on "Characterization" a new window opens below where you will choose the screen to calibrate if you have several screens and many default settings.
ColorChecker Passport tenu en main
  Screen settings window in "Advanced" user mode.
  1 -Choose the screen to calibrate and characterize (basic and advanced mode): Just click on it (1) and the window will move automatically on it. Practical!

Then (1bis), choose the type of lighting technology for your monitor - Updated at the end of 2017 - if the default choice, i. e. automatic, is not correct. This choice allows the software to choose the color matrix it will use to achieve a perfect calibration! It turns out that with a very large number of displays, this choice has no impact on the quality of calibration and therefore on the Delta E. In any case, after testing, I had never noticed any difference in calibration by changing this criterion up to version 1.5.6 of i1Profiler. It is quite different since I installed version 1.6.1 and especially on the first screen I tried since this update. On the BenQ PG2401PT, IPS LED GBLed panel Graphic Art display, Delta E goes from 2.73 to 0.84 by choosing the "right" technology!


How to choose the technology of your screen panel technology?

Why and how to choose? The color matrix on which your monitor profile is based is not the same. There may therefore really be differences in calibration visible in the form of a dominant. Your monitor then seems to you anything but neutral and this is one of the goals of calibration!

CCFL technology is the most widespread in older flat screens since it is a "neon type" technology. This is the default choice.

On the other hand, more and more displays are manufactured with new technologies based on LED, white or RGB. If your display is LED technology without specification, it is probably LEDs or white diodes: iMac, MacBook Pro 2011 and later, many recent wide gamut displays (2012 and later). It is then preferable to choose White Diode.

If your display is RGB LED, it will be specified because it is an expensive technology and when manufacturers use it, they are proud of it and let it be known: choose RGB diode.

If you don't know what to choose and your screen is not Wide Gamut, try CCFL AND WHITE DIODE.

If you don't know what to choose and your screen is Wide Gamut, try CCFL Large Gamut AND WHITE DIODE.

Some displays at NEC or the latest BenQ PG2401PT use GBLed LEDs and that changes everything!

As a last resort, therefore, do a calibration with two solutions as recommended above and see which calibration seems the most neutral to you.

  2 - Choose the white point (basic and advanced mode): there are many possibilities that we will detail now:
  • You can choose from the drop-down list one of the target illuminants: D50, D55, D65 or D75, the D65 corresponding to the famous 6500K of sunlight in the middle of the day.
  • Native: the color temperature of the display;
  • Daylight temperature: you can choose the color temperature you want to the nearest Kelvin;
  • In xy values for specialists;
  • Measure: measurement of the ambient light of the part in chrominance;

My advice to choose the white point! The illuminant D50 and D55 only work on the high-end EIZO and NEC displays, natively in D50 or D55. On the other screens, they will be frankly yellowish. In these other cases, I like to choose 6000/6500 K manually, neither too warm nor too cold. I never use the "measure..." function.

4 - Choose the gamma (advanced mode) : there are several possibilities but only one interests us here:

  Advanced mode profile settings window because these options are not available in "Basic" mode.

My advice to choose the gamma ! Choose 2.2 which is perfectly adapted to screen vision.

5 - Rapport de contraste   (mode avancé) : Contrast ratio (advanced mode): it is possible to choose the contrast ratio of the screen from the drop-down list:

  • You can choose native: this is the maximum screen contrast;  
  • Personalize... : You can choose the ratio you want to harmonize several screens for example by choosing the lowest common denominator;
  • PCS ICC black point: for experts and especially those who only use their screen to print because 287:1 is the contrast ratio of the paper seen by one eye;  
  • From the printer profile: Does not work in my house!!!

My advice to choose the contrast ratio! I choose "Native" by default but a photographer who prints a lot at home will prefer "287:1", the contrast ratio of the eye looking at a sheet of paper.

6 - Enable Flare Correct (advanced mode):
Enable Flare Correct (advanced mode): Measures stray light on reflective screens to adjust contrast. This is useful on laptop screens with bright panels but of course also on Apple iMac screens IF you always work in the same room, otherwise.... (The measurement will be made at the end of the measurement process of the colored patches).

  7 - Active ambient light control (basic and advanced mode): as said, this allows the profile to be adjusted according to the ambient light by regular measurement of the latter after calibration. (If you enable this option, the colorimeter will measure the ambient light at the end of the measurement of the colored patches and then regularly according to the preferences you have selected - see below.)

My opinion on the active control of the room brightness!If the function really works well and has a real visible influence, I find that it is very pronounced, especially in color temperature, and that it becomes very complicated to balance several screens together. To date, I recommend using only one screen and only if you do not have compact fluorescent lighting. Otherwise, it's a disaster!

Click on the "Next" button at the bottom right...


B - Second tab: Default profile settings (Advanced mode)


Only one option will a priori be modified here but it is very important - the famous V4 standard to be changed for V2 -.

Choose between profile versions V2 or V4? V4 is the new standard and not all photo viewing software uses it yet, such as the Windows viewer for example. So if you create a V4 screen profile, the images displayed in your viewer will be very dark. Always on a PC but in Photoshop or Lightroom, everything will be fine because these programs manage this standard. On Mac OS, everything seems OK. My advice! Choose the V2 standard well unless you know very well what you are doing! 

C - third tab: default patch set (advanced mode)

This is where you can choose the number of colored patches that will scroll in front of the sensor. The more patches there are, the more accurate the ICC profile will be. It is still to be checked and it is not as easy as that to check.

  • Small : 118 patches - Number by defaut of the basic user mode.
  • Medium : 211 patches
  • Large : 462 patches

My advice to choose the number of colorful patches! A great quality of this new colorimeter is the speed with which it measures patches: impressive! So why not choose the large number of patches once every four weeks? That said, I have never seen a gap between these options in the end. The worried will choose the most and the hurried the least!

D - Fourth tab: the measurement (basic and advanced mode)

The measurement of the patches so the characterization will finally be launched and you will surely be surprised by the speed with which the patches scroll in this new version of i1Profiler (if there is a choice of the number of patches in Advanced Mode, it is by default 118 in Basic Mode.)


1 - Automatic screen control (basic and advanced mode): This is where you choose whether or not to enable ADC (Automatic Display Control) or, in other words, automatic control of brightness, contrast and color temperature for displays that have very few settings such as laptop displays or Apple displays such as those in the iMac.

My advice on the great ADC feature of i1Profiler! The ADC function: an ingenious function that works really well on all screens and is essential on laptops or iMacs. Do not activate on high-end displays. This is not necessary.

2 - Adjust brightness and contrast manually (basic and advanced mode):
if your monitor has all the settings for brightness, contrast and CT, it is possible to make the correct settings with the help of the sensor.... but also the ADC function which then works very well.

My advice! The ADC function not only works very well with laptop screens (MacBook Pro or iMac with glossy display for example) but also on desktop screens. The automation can therefore have good results! I have performed tests with the ADC function even on desktop screens, with all possible settings and with the naked eye it is impossible to see the difference.


Be careful if you calibrate a laptop or an iMac!

Indeed, these computers always activate by default in their monitor preferences the "Automatic brightness" option, which must absolutely be deactivated BEFORE starting the calibration.


E - Reset your monitor and choose the generic profile of your screen in your OS preferences:


F - Start measurement:

Finally, "Start measurement" of the display by clicking on the button, under the colored patches. If you have activated the ADC mode, the sensor will automatically take control of the brightness, contrast and color temperature settings. Otherwise, the software will assist you. Just follow the instructions, very clear. At the end, if you have activated the Flare Correct or Ambient Light Control mode, the software will guide you through these very simple measurements as shown in the picture on the right.


G - Fifth tab of the advanced mode (or third of the basic mode): ICC profile

You will finally be able to name your screen ICC profile, save it, activate it and choose the ambient light control mode if you chose this option in step 1. You will also be able to activate the characterization reminder, at most, every four weeks.

1 - Profile name - Give a name to your easily identifiable profile.


2 - Profile distribution profil - Leave at the user level.

3 - Characterization reminder - If you absolutely want a reminder, take between two weeks or even a month. Frankly, apart from professional retouchers who can still calibrate their screens every two weeks to really - but then really - reassure you in 2019, without risk, you can calibrate your screen less often. Twice a year, at least when your screen is new, is not a heresy in my opinion. In this case, you will have understood it, choose "None".

  4 - Ambient lighting control - I do not recommend it!
  5 - Create and save your ICC profile - Click on the button :
  Calibration with the i1Display Pro sensor is complete!

On the next page, we will now check the quality of the calibration performed with the best colorimeter on the market - Do we see the difference? - Second part of the i1Display Pro Plus calibration sensor test Suivre


To be remembered!

 The name Pro is marketing: of course it is Pro but how could an amateur not want to know if his monitor is well calibrated, uniform, etc. and choose his color temperature? At 244 dollars it's tempting!

 Whether you choose advanced or basic mode, the quality of the profile will be the same.

 If you choose the advanced mode, which I recommend, you will be able to choose a color temperature of 6000-6500 K, neither too warm nor too cold but it is only a personal recommendation!

X-Rite i1Display Pro


CDN$ 346.75
Here is my complete review of the i1Display Pro from X-Rite..
- Full review of the X-Rite i1Display Pro
  1 - Introduction to the i1Display Pro
2 - Calibration of the i1Display Pro
3 - To be remembered...
- Next : ICC profile check

- Why and how to calibrate your monitor ?
- How to choose your monitor ?


Calibrate your monitor with the best
colorimeter: X-Rite i1Display Pro !

Read my full review...


Calibrate your photo printer with the
best value for money: X-Rite i1 Studio !

Read my full review...  










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