Bench top versus Hand Held Colour Measurement?

Bench top versus Hand Held colour measurement is one of the most common questions we get.



There seems to be an automatic conclusion that Bench Tops are more accurate, more robust and less likely to suffer damage compared to Hand Held or portable Instruments.

Taking an Instrument TO the object, rather than taking an object TO the laboratory has been a long held field scientist or researchers dream. Cutting Edge Scientific Instruments Ocean Insight built there whole business model on this basis over 25 years ago.


Konica Minolta launched their FIRST colour Measurement Instrument , the CR-100, in 1982. And guess what, they chose to make it portable  37 years ago when computers were still cumbersome boxes despite making the cover of Time Magazine as Machine of the Year with only 16-256 kb Memory!

PC-XT with DOS 1


Within 4 years the Minolta CR-200 was launched based on the popularity of the CR-100, and the promise of backward compatibility to keep the integrity of research in an “Apples to apples” scenario. This because colour is not a property of the object, but a property of the perception. Instruments were therefore required to keep to the same rules from type to type, bearing in mind that mobile phones were already 10 years old and had to be upgraded annually to keep pace with the pace of development.

The Minolta CR-300 followed in 1991 and was the first version we were requested to service sometime around the year 2002. Fortunately we were able to upgrade the customer to a CR-400 series, launched in 2002 and remains the Colorimeter of choice, to this day with a close to 20 years life span.


CR-400 Series


In the meantime Konica Minolta Spectrophotometers have also been developed in both Bench top and Hand Held.

To answer the original question, Konica Minolta Hand Held Spectrophotometers equal their Bench top counterparts in both accuracy and reproducibility, as well as longevity. At the same time our Service Records do not reflect customers fears that Hand Held units are prone to more than average abuse in the laboratory or field.

You don’t see customers using “Bench top” telephones anymore, as mobile phones meet all the users “Field” specifications. Why not with Spectrophotometer? We have been at it a long time.

Have a look at the new CM-26d/G which also now includes Gloss Measurement