All these years, for the longest time, I always put through with washed out colors along with a horrible blue/purple tint and awkward saturation misconfigurations on my old ThinkPads. I thought it was part of the game to endure trashy screens using old second-hand hardware. Well, turns out the shittiness of old LCD panels is mostly due to bad or (most likely) lack of any color calibration rather than hardware specifications.
Just learned today that laptops with graphics support on NetBSD can be color calibrated using
xcalib. Best thing of all, the configurations are very fine grained. You can manually change each red/green/blue color channel along with gamma/brightness/contrast.
Feels unreal to be able to say that I can now see NEUTRAL GREY COLORS on the shitty TN panel on my ThinkPad x250 and actually do some graphic design work on my laptop without having to rely on a color calibrated external monitor.
Almost all LCD screens, even if the same model has slightly different color misconfigurations, so you'll have to change these settings to match your screen - but here's the xcalib settings that I used as an example:
xcalib -red 1.1 0 98 -green 1.2 0 99 -blue 1.4 0 84 -a
The value order is
Each time you run xcalib it will just increment the values so you'll have to reset with
To start with a blank slate:
xcalib -red 1 0 100 -green 1 0 100 -blue 1 0 100 -a (should do nothing)
And from there you can try lowering the contrast of the color channel that is too strong on your screen.
Gamma = midtones (the higher in difference of value the less of that color)
-red 1 0 100 -green 1 0 100 -blue 1.5 0 100 -a will have less blue color in the midtones. Increasing gamma value for all color channels will make the colors pop more.
Brightness = Highlights (probably don't have to change the value from 0)
Contrast = Overall tint of your screen (biggest visible change)
Have fun color calibrating!