Stumbling Toward 'Awesomeness'

A Technical Art Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Calibrating the Alienware 13 R2 OLED Laptop

Last month Dell had the Black Friday in July sale and this beauty was on sale for 500 dollars off, plus 10% if you ordered by phone. I decided it was time to replace my beloved Lenovo x220t.

The Alienware 13 might be ugly and lack a Wacom digitizer, but it does have an nVidia GTX 965M and an OLED screen with 211% sRGB coverage! As the Lenovo Yoga X1 only has integrated graphics, I think the Alienware is the machine for 3D artists.

If you’re a gamer who landed here because you wondered how to get the most out of your amazing display, or wondered why everything is super-red-pink, it’s time to put your big boy pants on! Calibrating the monitor wasn’t so straight forward, but let’s jump into it.


We are going to use an open source Color Management toolkit called ArgyllCMS [Download it here]. It can use many different hardware calibration devices, I have used it with the xRite Huey and the Spyder5.

One thing that’s important to know is that all the sensors are the same, you only pay for software features. If you don’t own a calibrator, you can buy the cheapest Spyder, because it’s the same sensor and you are using this software, not the OEM software.


Next we’re going to use a GUI front end built to make ArgyllCMS more user friendly. It’s called DisplayCAL, but it requires a lot of libs (numPy, wxWidgets, etc) so I recommend downloading this zero install that has everything.


Be sure to set the ‘White level drift compensation’ on. You will need to ignore the RGB adjustment it first asks you to fuss with because there is no RGB adjustment on your monitor.

When you are through, you will see the following (or something like it!):


Note: DisplayCAL can also output a 3d LUT for madVR, which works with any number of video playback apps. Check here to force your browser to use your color management profile. If it’s useful, I can make another post detailing all the different settings and color-managed apps to make use of your monitor.

I hope you found this useful, it should apply to the Lenovo Yoga X1 and any other OLED laptops in the coming months.

posted by Chris at 9:23 PM  


  1. Could you provide your calibrated profile please? I don’t wanna buy a spider but I still think your profile would be better than stock.

    Comment by Amirhossein Herandi — 2016/12/10 @ 7:15 PM

  2. Thank you for this information, but I agree with the commenter above – can you please post the calibrated profile?

    Comment by Neko — 2017/02/22 @ 4:39 PM

  3. Could you please post the ICC profile? A lot of us don’t have access to calibration tools and/or can’t spend the extra amount on them.

    Comment by Vatan — 2017/05/08 @ 1:07 PM

  4. Thanks so much for this. I actually bought the Alienware 13R3 after I saw your blog post here! However, I have some trouble with getting shadow detail to show up well. I presume this is due to the black point settings or the way that OLED technology switches on/off the backlighting for darker coloured pixels. Any help is appreciated!

    Comment by Chuck — 2017/06/26 @ 12:16 PM

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