I am about to buy a new laptop and would like to use it for photoediting. It would be nice to be able to adjust displays colors so they are accurate and display the real colors.

Are there any graphic cards that would endow a conventional machine with this feature?

Any other suggestions for solving this problem will be appreciated.

  • What OS? I'm working with a Sypder2 on a Linux desktop and it appears that all of that can be adjusted via XOrg. I can't imagine Windows or Mac being any different. It's up to your device driver and less of the card or monitor itself. – SailorCire Sep 16 '15 at 21:48

Yes, most any notebook computer is capable of allowing you to use calibration products to adjust the output of the display.

It's not GPU specific, though. Using a hardware/software solution such as Spyder or ColorMunki is dependent upon compatibility with the installed operating system. Just about any notebook computer running a Windows or Mac Operating Systems will allow you to use most of the major calibration systems available. Most Linux distributions also work with the calibration products from X-Rite (Colormunki) and Datacolor (Spyder). They are the two largest vendors in this category.

The larger question should probably be the type of LCD screen and the available color gamut it can display. No matter how good your calibration hardware and software is, if the screen can't display the full gamut of colors you need it to display then calibrating it won't enable it to display those colors.

An issue when editing via a notebook panel is the consistency of colors when viewed from different angles. You are typically closer to a smaller screen when using a laptop. If the same exact color is displayed over the entire screen, different areas may appear different shades to your eyes based on the different viewing angles. Your eyes may be viewing the center of the screen at a perpendicular angle at the same time the angle between your eyes and the corners is much more acute. As you move around the angles between your eyes and the same spot on the screen also change. Typical LCD displays don't maintain a consistent color as the angles change. IPS displays do much better in this regard and is probably what you should look for in your purchase. And be aware that not all IPS displays are created equally.


A "graphics card" has nothing at all to do with colour calibration, that is simply the chipset that sends a signal to the monitor/panel. The term "Graphics card" is only really applicable to full size computers, where it is removable.

On 99% of LAPTOPS the graphics processor (GPU) is hard soldered to the motherboard, so you get what you get, there is no swapping. Sometimes there is a choice (basic or on-processor) or "Discrete" which means a separate graphics processor, but these will still be non-interchangeable.

The only reason you would choose an uprated graphics processor is for graphically intensive work such as gaming, 3D rendering or heavy photo work (if the software supports GPU acceleration) - DISPLAYING photos does not require an uprated graphics processor, and it has no effect on colour rendition.

Colour rendition/accuracy is a combined result of your computer's colour calibration, and your monitor's capabilities.

So to answer your question - No, all laptops can already allow this, but additional equipment is required.

Why? - Because your graphics card / GPU / computer cant SEE your screen:

What you need is a calibration device such as a Spyder or Huey - These stick on your screen, the software displays various colours to its sensor(s), and creates a colour profile for your computer in order that your screen will display the colours as intended.

And then there is printer profiling... but i'd best not go there!!

  • The answer is actually Yes, because calibration is not dependent upon the graphics adapter. All of them allow you to use a calibration device and software to calibrate a laptop's screen. – Michael C Sep 17 '15 at 6:50
  • Well in a way yes, but its also misleading to put it that way, and calibration is independent of graphics adapters... – Digital Lightcraft Sep 17 '15 at 7:25
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    And since it is independent of the graphics adapter then it is probably more correct to say "all" of them allow it than to say "none" of them allow it. Which is what the bold part of your answer strongly implies to someone who just glances at it and then gives up. – Michael C Sep 17 '15 at 7:29
  • If you must argue over this, I still stand by my answer, in the context of the actual question, NO you cannot buy a "graphics card" that specifically adds calibration capability as a feature to a laptop. – Digital Lightcraft Sep 17 '15 at 7:34
  • If you insist on being pedantic, the actual question says, "Are there graphic cards that allow calibration of conventional laptop displays?" and not "Are there graphics cards that add calibration capability as a feature to a laptop." The answer to the actual question is, "Yes, pretty much all graphics cards allow the display of the notebook in which they are installed to be calibrated." – Michael C Sep 17 '15 at 9:52

There is a diference on a graphics card and a chipset.

In laptops you do not have a card but you can have a specialized chip for that. And almost all modern computers have a panel to do a basic adjustment from the manufacturer. Windows itself has a module to do that.

Here is a link to do a basic calibration: http://www.otake.com.mx/Apuntes/ColorCalibration/ColorCalibration.phtml

But it is very basic, becouse on lcd displays you can not adjust the dark point and the white point.

The most important part that you need to calibrate are the gamma settings.

For more sophisticated calibration you need a hardware like this: http://www.colormunki.com/

The graphic card does not affect this, becouse the changes are done via the Operating System.

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