Contents > Calibrate your monitor 10 / 12

Datacolor SpyderX Elite review


Datacolor SpyderX ELITE Review

Published on February 13, 2019   |   Updated on January 09, 2021


There was no more novelty in the field of screen calibration since 2012! Datacolor announces a new feature that should be significant on February 11, 2019: its brand new colorimeter, the SpyderX! If the software does not change or practically does not change, the colorimeter is completely new. And so, the question that is burning everyone's lips is: what is worth and should we change our old Spyder5 Datacolor colorimeter for a SpyderX?

Datacolor's new SpyderX Elite screen calibration solution replaces the well-known Spyder5ELITE. Its introductory price is 269.99 dollars - and it is the top-of-the-range solution if Datacolor's marketing department is strictly respected. It is thus aimed at passionate amateur photographers and professional photographers, graphic designers and videographers. Here are the main new features:

  • New generation of sensor with lens placed in front of the sensor and filters to improve reading accuracy and protect them for an even better lifetime a priori but this was already a quality of the Spyder5,
  • Supports the latest display technologies (various and varied LEDs) and gamuts (sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, etc...),
  • The express calibration speed: less than a minute during my tests to read all the color patches!
  • Software almost identical to version 5 so we are in familiar ground.


In a few words...



This new high-end Datacolor colorimeter is a direct competitor to X-Rite's famous i1Display Pro. On entry-level or mid-range screens it is now at or above the level of entry-level screens - Consider today that you really have a choice and that's good! - Read my conclusion

  Other offers...
CDN$ 416.70



Introduction to the Datacolor SpyderX Elite

Progress... The Elite version uses the same SpyderX colorimeter as the Pro version so the differences will be made by the software and the possibilities of adjusting the target values or calibratable product categories. Evolution thanks to a simple software upgrade is therefore also possible without the need to buy a new sensor! As a result, you will not find any software in the box but only on the site.


Datacolor SpyderX Elite colorimeter

Very well finished and white from now on, the new SpyderX Elite sensor is sold in the same packaging as the Pro versions.

The calibration kit and its box

Datacolor's new SpyderX colorimeter, now with a white finish, is sold with a new lens colorimeter very well manufactured whose reading window (sensor + filters) is now protected by this lens. The kit contains very simply the colorimeter and its long USB cable and... the serial number. Gone are the days when you also found the software on a CD. You will need to go directly to the manufacturer's website to download the latest updated version directly. Well done because this way we are sure to install the latest version and it's more ecological!

Photos of Datacolor's SpyderX
  Technical specifications  
  SpyderX ELITE Average price : $270
SpyderX RGB + ambient light sensor
SpyderX Elite 5.5 Mac / 5.4 PC
  Panel technology Manual selection (4 technologies)
Color temperature
User selection to the Kelvin!
  Gamma setting Yes: from 1,0 to 2,4 + L Star
Ambient light control
Yes (improved - 5 settings)
  Multi-screen alignment Yes - StudioMatch
  Projector calibration Yes

The installation of SpyderX Elite software (in its latest version)

Very important note! Be sure to download the latest version of SpyderX Elite 5.7 (MAC) or 5.5 (Windows 10) in March 2020 to maintain maximum compatibility with the latest display technologies.


Download the latest version of the software!

SpyderX Elite software (PC and MAC), sold with the SpyderX Elite, is available for free download in its latest version - Download SpyderX Elite 5.7 Mac or 5.5 Windows (Note: SpyderX Elite works on MacOS Catalina)





Preparing the calibration with SpyderX Elite...

SpyderX Elite software allows you to characterize a desktop, laptop or projector screen from its main window. The process is a little longer the first time because you have to choose a certain number of options or target values, on the other hand, they will be kept in memory during the later recalibrations.

Datacolor SpyderX Elite Kit and its box

Installing SpyderX Elite software

It is simple and classic. Nothing particular to say, so! When you click on the application icon, the language detection will be done automatically and the software will welcome you with a welcome message by displaying an online help link. It also tells you what you can do with your sensor. Click on the "Do not display this message again" check mark at the bottom left and click on OK!

Then, to continue the installation, the software needs to activate your version of the software and for that you need:

  • Connect your sensor to a USB port,
  • Take the serial number from the bottom of the box.

To finalize the installation of the software and thus perform your first calibration in the process, you absolutely need to connect to the Datacolor website in order to register your product and obtain a key from your serial number. The following calibrations can be done offline.

First launch...

At each launch, the software connects to check your license. (I don't try without an Internet connection). Then, you can start by going to the "preferences" side of the software (SpyderX Elite Menu / Preferences) to choose two or three interesting options:


SpyderX Elite calibration software preferences


1 - Choice of sensor - If several colorimeters (calibration sensors) are connected, the software will ask you to choose one. This is the new SpyderX.

2 - Choice of calibration reminder - You can never choose either from one day to six months and I will admit that I sometimes do it only every six months!

My advice!  A professional retoucher, so someone who works for others, will obviously do it more often, as well if your screen is more than five years old because its performance can "drop" quickly.

The others.... - Check for software updates - Why not enable it / Share calibration data with Datacolor - For statistical purposes.

3 - Advanced settings - (for advanced users) -


Advanced settings of the SpyderX Elite calibration software


The advanced settings will allow you to choose the warning level of Delta E so synonymous with too much deviation from the standard and if you want to control the display of the color temperature of your screen through the RGB sliders of it (This naturally excludes laptop screens) then you will first have to check the appropriate option here.

My recommendation! Use only 3.0 because it is only a warning. If you put it underneath, except on a high-end screen, there are risks that it will quickly start ringing!

Click on "ICC Settings..."


ICC setting of the SpyderX Elite calibration software


My advice!  Finally, the ICC settings should be left by default: ICC version 2.0 (Version 4.0 is still far from being a standard and causes real display problems, still in 2019, with some amateur software or even in Windows 10 ! Those who are familiar with color management will choose V4 (especially if they are on a Mac) and Bradford Color Matching Mode, the most powerful.

1 - Welcome screen! 

Choose whether you want to calibrate your screen or proof it.


SpyderX Elite Welcome Screen

Then Datacolor gives you some advice before starting the calibration and then the calibration of your screen:

Welcome screen of the SpyderX Elite calibration software


Four very classic recommendations:

  • Warming up your screen for at least 15 minutes;
  • Check the lighting conditions in your room;
  • Reset the settings on your display and set the color temperature to TC 6500 K AND choose a brightness level that makes you feel comfortable - Read below.
  • And plug in the colorimeter!

The software even goes so far as to ask you to tick each step performed in order to click on the "Next" button.

Click on "Next"...

2 - Select the screen to be calibrated...

You will select the screen to calibrate, then its type (Desktop, laptop, projector...), its brand and model and finally choose the available settings (Brightness and Kelvin preset so color temperature...)


Select the display to be calibrated with the SpyderX Elite




Important remark! As I have regularly noticed myself, on some entry-level displays, Datacolor does not recommend adjusting the RGB channels separately. The cure is worse than the harm it is supposed to correct. My advice: try it with and without on your screen! On my Asus VC239H and unlike all my previous colorimeters, it worked well with this new SpyderX Elite.

Then click on "Next"...

3 - Select the backlight technology for your display... New in 2019 !

The software then asks you what is the backlighting technology of your display among the now classic "LEDs" that must be translated as standard LED (so sRGB), extended LED that can be translated as wide gamut LED (Adobe RGB), etc....



Click on "Next"...

4 - Select the appropriate target value selection process...

Elite software allows you to choose from three target value selection processes: Step-by-step-Assistant, StudioMatch (to match multiple screens) or Expert Console (Summary on a single page).



Click on "Step-by-step-Assistant" and "Next"...

5 - Calibration parameters: choice of target values in the "Step-by-step-Assistant..." process

SpyderX Elite Calibration Parameters

a) ReCAL - The target values are the same as during the previous calibration. It is therefore only useful during a second calibration.

b) CheckCAL - Verification of the current calibration.

c) FullCAL - Option to choose when you first calibrate your screen.

d) Choice of target values - I refer you to my page "How to calibrate a monitor?

My advice!  Choose Gamma 2.2, TC at 6500K and brightness at 80/90 if you are in a rather dark environment and you print a lot, 100/120 if you are in a "normal" light environment and possibly 140 Cd/m2 if you work mainly for the Internet and what is more in a bright environment.

e) Advanced settings (2) - If you have purchased the Elite version it is also to have access to these target values:


Advanced settings before screen calibration with SpyderX Elite


  • Selection of predefined target values if necessary; Just follow the wise advice. We can see that we are dealing with pro software because the sensor is able to check if a screen follows the recommendations of a certification. Absolutely complete... or even too much!!! Real specialists know that this is not necessarily needed.

  • Activate (or do not!) the ambient light control;

    My recommendation! Personally, I don't like to activate the ambient light measurement because with experience I managed to find target values that, overall, matched me very well throughout the day and year.

The recommendation of Datacolor seems a little high to me. If I choose 120 Cd/m2 at home as well as in the test measurement, I assure you that I will find it too high.


  • Calibration of the gray balance;

    My advice! I choose "The best" in order to obtain the most "beautiful" grayscales, i.e. the most progressive and without dominant colors.

Click on "Next"...

6 - Adjusting the color temperature preset

Click on "Next"...

7 - Place your colorimeter on the screen

This is still the same fixing system as on the Spyder5 since, seen from the front, only the color of the SpyderX has changed.


Place the SpyderX on the laptop monitor to start calibration

Place the SpyderX Elite on the laptop screen to start calibration

Click on Next and the calibration starts. The software will help you to set the brightness target value if you have ticked the option above: with the brightness buttons on your screen (+ -) adjust it according to the software indication. (The same can be done with color temperature and contrast if necessary. Don't worry if you don't need to adjust these other two options then.


Setting the RGB channels of the display during calibration with SpyderX Elite

Adjusting the screen brightness during calibration with SpyderX Elite


Remark! With this new 2019 version of the SpyderX, the characterization continues and lasts only one to two minutes maximum depending on the gray balance option you have chosen. It's very fast and the current record!
When it is finished, click on "Finish" to name the ICC profile.

8 - Choose the name of the screen (to automatically name the ICC profile)....

By giving you the ability to choose the brand and model of the screen you are calibrating, the software knows what name it will automatically give to the ICC profile you are creating.


Saving the ICC screen profile after calibration with SpyderX Elite


Tip! If, like me, you have at least two identical screens, it will be easy to add "_left" or "_right" to your screen template, for example, so as not to mix ICC profiles later.

Click on "Save". The software then tells you where it has stored the ICC profile.


Save the ICC profile on SpyderX Elite

9 - Before / after comparison and calibration analysis

Once the characterization process is complete, your screen is calibrated and the software offers you a before and after comparison.


Before after screen calibration with SpyderX Elite


Before after monitor calibration with SpyderX Elite


By clicking on the "Switch" button, you can see the effect of the calibration live. Click on "Next"... to save your profile and select a possible reminder.

The following window displays a report on your calibration and in particular in the CIEXY area, the gamut of your screen and, new feature 5.0, the percentage of the sRGB area of your screen. I let you browse through the many reports that the Elite version offers. For those who love numbers!


Profile overview after screen calibration with SpyderX Elite

Note that this window displays the % of the sRGB space on your screen.

Calibration is complete!



Use and verification of the ICC profile

As indicated on the Photoshop color preferences page, it is prudent to verify that Photoshop is using this new ICC profile to correctly display the colors on your screen. It is also possible to perform many tests on your calibrated screen to know its value and actual accuracy:


quality control after screen calibration with SpyderX Elite

  Datacolor SpyderX Elite  
Color fidelity 10/10
Implementation / Settings 10/10
Settings 10/10
Manufacturing quality 9,0/10
Value for money 10/10
  I like it very much...  
  • The best colorimeter (early 2019) for calibrating entry-level or mid-range displays,
  • Excellent calibration quality, significantly improved even with the naked eye compared to versions 5, especially on mid- and low-end displays,
  • Neutralization of the greys really neutral while it was shooting at the red with the Spyder5,
  • Calibration speed: less than one minute!
  • Essential update to take into account the latest screen technologies,
  • The adjustment possibilities are impressive in the Elite version,
  • Very good finish and small footprint,
  • Allows you to calibrate your projector,
  • Very nice calibration even on laptops with tonal breaks that are essentially the same as at X-Rite (on these screens).
  • A favorite product!
  I regret...  
  • The price: $269 for the launch price of the Elite version,,
  • No possibility to choose a 287:1 contrast,
  • Software interface less "beautiful" than the competitor! Personal opinion obviously so do not consider this as a defect!
  My overall rating...  
  9,75 / 10, very close to 10!  
  My conclusion...  

SpyderX Pro colorimeter on laptopFavorite product 2019! Datacolor has done a great job and significantly improved the Spyder5: much faster calibration and taking into account the latest screen technology, neutralisation of the greys without any dominance. To buy with your eyes closed to calibrate all kinds of displays and even more if you have an entry-level or mid-range display. It's clearly my new favorite if you have this type of screen. For high-end monitors, I let you choose with its direct competitor, the i1 Display Pro from X-Rite. Congratulations Datacolor!

Datacolor - SpyderX ELITE


CDN$ 369.00
Here is my complete review of theDatacolor SpyderX Elite.
- Review of the Datacolor SpyderX Elite
  1 - Introduction to the SpyderX Elite
2 - Calibration with the SpyderX Elite
3 - Conclusion and rating

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


Calibrate your monitor with your favorite colorimeter : Datacolor SpyderX PRO!

Read my full review...


Calibrate your monitor with your favorite colorimeter : Datacolor SpyderX ELITE!

Read my full review...










From 2002, this Website offers...

This site dedicated to color management for photographers and videographers, beginners or professionals, visited by more than 300,000 people last year, offers on the one hand to help you easily understand and put into practice the color management of your photos and on the other hand helps you make the best investments with more than 100 hardware or software reviews since April 2002 in French and 2014 in English! It is the result of a patient work and a long experience shared by a professional but above all passionate photographer !


Where do the tested products come from ? Is my opinion completely independent ?

All the products I talk about on this site have been tested by me either following a personal purchase, a friendly loan, during a training session at a customer's site or after a manufacturer's loan.
They thank me for the precision of my remarks which will help their future products to progress. So things are moving and my

impartial opinion is more and more appreciated.... If I believe your emails, your trust marks and even some brands.


... And how to participate!

So my proposal when you don't know how to thank me for the free content: think about using my links to buy in these different partner shops because they play the game!




Legal informations

Legal information is available on my page Legal information








Sitemap  |   About   |   Legal information