Pantone introduced huey about a year ago, the device was noteworthy for a couple
of reasons. The first was the price. At well under $100, it was clearly targeted
to the more casual user than previous offerings had been. The huey was also
one of the easiest calibration devices to use, and the only one that supported
automatic adjustments for ambient light changes.
This year, hueyPRO is out and the big brother offers some nice enhancements
while keeping the ease of use of the original huey. For a list price of $129,
you can have accurate color with a minimum of fuss.
What Is A huey?
The huey is designed by Pantone with cooperation from X-Rite, the makers of
pro-level color management devices and software, and uses a colorimeter to measure
color values and luminance of both your computer display and to a degree, your
ambient light--more on that in a bit. The hardware itself is much smaller
than anything else available (#1). To calibrate your display, you run the included
software, which flashes various colors on screen that the huey records. Once
completed, these color values are used to create an ICC profile for your display.
A calibrated display is the first and most critical step in color management.
After all, unless the color on your monitor is predictable, you'll never
be certain what the results will be when you hit the Print button.
New Software Options
At first glance, the software included with the hueyPRO (#2) looks like the
same as that of the original huey. But not far under the surface there are some
valuable changes that give you more control over the way your profile is created.
After launching the program, which works the same on both Windows and Macintosh
systems, you'll be asked to select your display type--LCD/laptop
or CRT. The next step measures the room lighting conditions you're working
in and takes just a couple of seconds, during which your screen settings are
likely to change dramatically--but don't worry about that for now.
When prompted, place the huey on your screen where it's held in place
by several small suction cups, as shown in #3. Once you hit "Next,"
huey will start to measure various color patches (about 30 in all). The entire
process takes just a couple of minutes. This is one area that improves over
the original huey, which only measured about 15 colors.