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i1Display Pro Plus review

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i1Display Pro Plus review

Top of the range of i1Display monitor calibrator

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The i1Display Pro Plus monitor calibrator is designed to support high brightness and HDR monitors in addition to normal screen and projector calibrations/profiling.

It uses an improved black current subtraction technology to improve performance in dark areas, especially with OLED screens which can near zero black levels.

Keith has been trying it out as a normal calibrator, since we lack OLED and ultra-bright screens to test.


The i1Display Pro Plus is available from B&H for $299
See X-Rite .eu for current deal with Adobe CC plan

Monitor calibration

I’m going to assume that if you’re looking at the i1Display Pro Plus model, you have some quite specific profiling/calibration needs for your monitors. For the average photographer and graphic designer looking for more consistent displays, the i1Display Pro model will likely do more than enough for what .you need.

Setting up your monitor is a vital part of getting a consistent workflow – one thing I’d note if you are reading any of my many reviews, is that if you don’t understand what a setting is for, then the default option is usually a good place to start until you know better.


i1Display devices can be used for some mobile applications and devices (see my ColorTRUE notes).

i1Display Pro Plus

The i1Display Pro Plus is the top level model of the i1Display Pro line, adding HDR and high brightness support to to the i1Display Pro

In this respect, the i1Display Pro is OK for screens up to 1000 cd/m2, whilst the i1Display Pro Plus works up to 2000 cd/m2. We’ve used the i1Display Pro for some time [full i1Display Pro review] an it gives great performance for all our current monitors.

The previous Colormunki Display [review] is now the i1Display Studio, and whilst the basic colorimeter is unchanged, the measurement software is now i1Studio.

The Plus model includes a USB A to C adapter for connecting it to your computer running the calibration software.

The i1Display range is also available with Colorchecker Passport targets, with the ‘Plus’ model aimed at filmmakers more than photographers:

  • i1 ColorChecker Photo Kit – includes i1Display Studio and ColorChecker Passport 2
  • i1 ColorChecker Pro Photo Kit – includes i1Display Pro and ColorChecker Passport 2
  • i1 ColorChecker Filmmaker Kit – includes i1Display Pro Plus and ColorChecker Video

I’ve used the Passport with my photography work for many years and have written up several reviews [CC Passport info/usage]

Using the i1Display Pro Plus

The i1Display Pro Plus uses X-Rite’s i1Profiler software, which can be downloaded from X-Rite.


The software is licensed through the device you are using, so there is no problem in using it to profile several of your displays. Remember that the calibrator is only required when running i1Profiler, so the rest of the time you can keep it in its box. Taking care of the measuring device will maximise its lifetime.
[click to enlarge images].


The i1Profiler software offer both basic and advanced modes of operations – there is much more detail about this in my recent i1Photo Pro3 plus review which also has more detail about monitor calibration.

In the basic mode, most of the settings you need are present.


Personally, I’ve no use for the ‘Ambient’ setting ort he ‘Flare correction’ in the more advanced settings. These are feature that may make your display ‘look better’ but at the expense of accuracy (which is after all what I’m after…)

The luminance setting info also has notes about screen brightnesses.


I note that both the i1Pro2 and newer i1Pro 3 plus spectrophotometers support screens up to an eye-watering 4000 cd/m2

My main studio monitors are all set for 100 cd/m2, which works well for my dimmer working environment. I always remember that the single biggest cause for ‘prints coming out dark’ is having a screen set too bright, but if I was calibrating an iMac in a well lit office I’d go for a much brighter looking screen and remember never to use it for editing for print…

I can go for a BT1886 tone curve if I wish, but given I don’t do video at all and to be quite honest don’t know what the benefit of BT1886 is, I’ll take my own advice and stick to the default (Gamma 2.2)


I’m testing the device on my old MacBook Pro, which even a full brightness will have trouble hitting 400 cd/m2


The device has a nearly two metre long USB cord so should work OK for most set-ups. It’s a slow USB device, so should also work fine with a suitably high quality USB extender, but this is not guaranteed.

There are several target options, for coloured screen settings to measure, but the ‘small’ 118 patch target will usually suffice


Notice the measuring device against the screen.

If you look carefully you can see the tripod screw hole for mounting the device for projector profiling.

It’s actually wrongly set for screen measurement – fortunately, there is a reminder, and the software detects if you have not set the ambient light cover correctly.


The screen will flash different (target) colours and the device will measure what light is emitted.


After a few minutes, the whole patch set is measured. The display shows the difference between what was displayed and what was measured.

The better your monitor, the less obvious the differences will be -it’s these differences that are used for profiling/calibration.


Once the profile is created you can use some of the test images to check before and after profiling views.

For normal use, there’s little reason to use anything other than the default names, but meaningful names can be useful if you’re experimenting with settings, or wanted profiles optimised for different conditions.


If you’re experimenting then you’ll likely want the ‘Advanced’ settings mode, where you can save your favourite settings as a particular workflow.


It’s also possible to check additional monitor performance parameters ad record changes in monitor performance. – there is a lot more about this in my recent i1Photo Pro 3 plus review

Here’s the result of profiling my laptop at full brightness, where it managed all of 366 cd/m2


Why bother at such a setting? Well, I use the Mac for demos and often have it set to full brightness. I also very rarely edit images on the laptop, using an external monitor (a BenQ SW240 – which has specialist profiling software, which works with my i1Display Pro colorimeter).


If you’re using the i1Display devices for projector profiling, it’s just like a monitor profiling except that you just point the lens at the screen.


If the projector is being used in relatively dim surroundings then it’s best to pick the [default] native white point setting, since people’s vision will quickly accomodate to the white point of whites being projected. Some projectors also suffer a distinct reduction in quality (and output) if you move away from a native setting.

The only time I’ve ever set a white point was when there was significant additional lighting and a lower colour temperature of ~5k gave an improved look to the image. However once you’re working out of a dark room, accurate colour is a nice idea to aim for, but a bit hit and miss. This depends on the projector type (and settings) as well as any profiling settings.

The software does take into account screen colour and room lighting, as well as the performance of the projector – just be wary of making any colour critical decisions based on a projected image (unless you objective is optimising a projected image).


A solid product aimed very much at specific users where the i1Display Pro doesn’t cover the options needed.

Works perfectly with normal monitors and displays too.

Not having such specialist (read $$$) displays, I’m not able to comment on exactly how it performs with them, but the software is essentially the same that I regularly use for screen calibration.

A personal note: I’m sometimes contacted by businesses wanting me to come out and profile their monitors – it good to be asked, but we absolutely refuse to do this, since it’s so easy to do that I’d not feel comfortable in charging for such a service. I’d go so far as to question the ethics of any business that would charge… It really is that simple – yes we do bespoke colour management and photography training, but that’s much more advanced.

There is more about the range of calibrators in this product marketing video from X-Rite.

i1Profiler Software Specifications


  • MacOS X 10.12x, 10.13x and 10.14x (with the latest updates installed)
  • 512MB RAM (2GB recommended)
  • Intel Core Duo Processor
  • Up to 500MB of available disk space (depending on components installed)
  • Powered USB Port
  • Monitor resolution of 1024×768 pixels or higher
  • Dual display support requires either 2 video cards or a dual head video card that supports dual video LUTs being loaded
  • DVD drive or high-speed internet connection required for software install, download and automatic software update
  • User must have administrator rights to install and uninstall application


  • Microsoft Windows 7 32 or 64 bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8 32 or 64 bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 32 or 64 bit
  • Microsoft Windows 10 32 or 64 bit
  • All operating systems require latest updates and Service Packs installed
  • 512MB RAM (2GB recommended)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon XP or better CPU
  • Up to 500MB of available disk space (depending on components installed)
  • Powered USB Port
  • Monitor resolution of 1024×768 pixels or higher
  • Latest drivers for video card installed
  • Dual display support requires either 2 video cards or a dual head video card that supports dual video LUTs being loaded
  • Network adaptor installed and driver loaded
  • DVD drive or high-speed internet connection required for software install, download and automatic software update
  • User must have administrator rights to install and uninstall application

Apple iOS:

  • iPad 2, 3rd gen, 4th gen, Air, Mini, & Mini 2nd gen running iOS 7.x or later
  • iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5c, & 5s running iOS 7.x or later
  • iPod Touch running iOS 7.x or later

Google Android:

  • Samsung Galaxy running Android 4.0.4 or later
  • Google Nexus running Android 4.0.4 or later
  • Asus Transformer running Android 4.0.4 or later
  • HTC One running Android 4.0.4 or later

Note: In order to communicate with an X-Rite measurement device a USB OTG (On-the-Go) adapter is required. The mobile device must be USB-Host or USB OTG (On-the-Go) compatible.

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