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W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

Last week I have received my (first) new Lenovo W520 Thinkpad, which I decided to buy after lots of research on the internet. I am excited about its computing power and feature richness. Its biggest flaw though is the 1920x1080 LED TFT FHD display, which offers the worst color calibration I have seen in a high-end laptop in the last 10 years.


Its color rendering is highly disappointing as it shows unnatural, oversaturated colors that make the monitor useless for professional photo and video editing purposes. Primary tones glare neon-like in a highly disturbing manner. A red stop sign appears pink and flags in the google image search are displayed in a ridiculous way.


I have tried the following approaches to improve the color rendering.


The built-in color sensor in conjunction with the Pantone calibration software lead to the worst outcome. The white background of Windows Explorer becomes yellowish-greenish.


A better outcome canbe achieved using Windows 7 color management for display calibration, which doesn't avoid the neon colors, but at least white is rendered white.


Using the Nvidia graphic card tools and setting back gamma to 0.76 also helps to a very little degree.


Another solution is a free gamma correction tool called QuickMonitorProfile. This brings back the reds to normal tones with the side effect, that all mid-tones are rendered very pale.


I didn't have a possibility to try high-class external calibration hardware. For me the only solution remains to use a decent external monitor.


I have found the following interesting threads related to this topic:


http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/How-do-I-lower-the-saturation-on-my-W520-the-r...

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/W510-W520-FHD-color-profile-supplied-by-Lenovo...

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/Very-happy-with-my-W520/m-p/508841#M18189

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ColonelONeill
Posts: 6,538
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto
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Re: W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

A wide-gamut monitor will not display images built for a normal-gamut monitor very well; it will result in oversaturated colors both in theory and in practice.

You can try a browser that properly supports color profiles such as Firefox or IE9. Otherwise, the colors will indeed look very off.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1090/695/1390, 22GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
TPT1: 1839-23U, stock ICS
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
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Re: W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

It's not only the pictures I view on the internet but also the ones I saved to my hard drive. I also tried using different browsers.

 

Thank you anyhow for your help. Much appreciated.

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Re: W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

Dear ColonelONeill,

 

Why is it, that the integrated color sensor leads to so much worse results than the Windows 7 color management? Any ideas?

 

Thanks in advance.

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okam
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2011
Location: Finland

Re: W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

Color sensor is bad joke, it's totally useless. Display gives better results without calibration than calibration with color sensor.

 

I tested calibration with best possible tools, using Eye One with i1Profiler and results are much better but still it's no way near acceptable for serious photography work. Delta variation is 15-20% (meaning colors are 15-20% off from the correct one, compared to Eizo Coloredge monitors where delta variation is around 2%).

 

Color sensor is just marketing gimmic for Lenovo. As I have stated on another post, Lenovo needs to get on grip on various BIG problems with their top of the Thinkpad laptops.

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BrendaEM
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎08-11-2011
Location: California

Re: W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

An option for a true 8-bit per color channel monitor, would be desirable for those people who work in the visual arts and sciences.

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Re: W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

[ Edited ]

Does anybody know if tools (non hardware based) similar to the above mentioned QuickMonitorProfile exist? It would be nice, if they offer more profile choices to choose from.


Alternatively, does anybody know, if color profile are available, that scale back a wide-gamut display to standard color space? I guess something like that could exist based on a logarithmic scale, reducing saturated colors stronger than achromatic tones.


Any advice and experience is very welcome. Thanks.

 

 

PS

I've just read about sRGB emulation modes for wide-gamut displays of other manufacturers. Is Lenovo working on an implementation too?

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rc87
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎08-04-2011
Location: Italy
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Re: W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

could you share some of your profiles made with prof tools?
thanks
________________________________________________________________________________
W520 on win8.1/linux | X220 | and some older stuff 760 onwards :smileyhappy:
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Re: W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

I don't have any professional tools. Right now I'm using the profile obtained with Windows 7 color management.
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Re: W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display and Color Sensor with Pantone Calibration - Review

Problem solved. With the current settings I'm satisfied with the color rendering of my W520 FHD LED TFT 95% Gamut Display.

Still, I advise everybody to refrain from using the color sensor with the included calibration software.


Thanks once more for any input.