Masochistic Web quiz: Can you discern 100 hues?

Try putting 100 colored chits in the right order. It tests your patience as well as your eyesight, but the results are interesting.

X-Rite's vision-straining color test.
X-Rite's vision-straining color test. X-Rite

There are some Web quizzes out there that are fun. Then there's X-Rite's test of how well you can distinguish between subtle differences in hue.

X-Rite, which wants you to buy its technology for precisely calibrating your monitor's colors, published the test, which requires you to put 100 colored chits in the right order. It presents you with a score and a color chart showing where you're unreliable.

I confess I enjoyed taking the test--it was intriguing to pay that much attention to the subtle color perception. For example, the part I found easiest also turned out to be the color range where I made the most errors.

Overall, I scored 90, which is better than random but nowhere near Michael Johnston's score of 4 (lower is better). The site shows how your score compares to your peers' scores, but only crudely: it's too bad there's no frequency distribution to show better how people fared.

I'm not sure how much faith to put in the test, which probably scores your monitor's quality and your patience as well as your visual abilities. But if nothing else, it's a good marketing gimmick.

My mediocre score on the test. CNET News

Update 6:50 a.m. PDT October 10: Yup, the technology you're using makes a big difference. Thursday's test was on a Lenovo laptop, but then I redid my test on my home machine's high-gamut Dell 2408WFP monitor. My new score was a less disgraceful 17--and the test was much easier, taking me only about half the time.

One more little tidbit: Lori Grunin, who gauges color fidelity all day long as she reviews cameras for CNET, scored a perfect zero. She uses a Sony Artisan CRT monitor.

My score was less embarrassing using the higher-end monitor I have at home. CNET News
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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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