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Genius G-Pen M712 Pen Tablet review

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Summary

Our Score:

8

If you're a keen digital photographer, you'll probably spend a lot of time working with graphics editing programs, adjusting, editing and correcting your photos. By now you'll also probably have realised that a traditional computer mouse is not an ideal tool for this sort of work. Even a good quality mouse simple isn't accurate enough for pixel editing, and using one for a long period of time can leave you with an aching wrist, and can cause long-term health problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injuries.

The best solution to both of these problems is to use a pen tablet. They usually have several times the movement resolution of even a high-quality mouse, and making small precise movements with a pen places far less strain on your hand than the same action using a mouse. It's a lot easier to make precise movements with fingertip pen control than it is when moving your whole hand.

The big name in pen tablets is Wacom, best known for its excellent Intuos3 series, but professional-standard Wacom tablets are very expensive, especially for the larger sizes. An A4-sized Intuos3 costs nearly £400, and even smaller A5 models cost over £130. The cheaper consumer-oriented Wacom Bamboo series of A6-sized tablets are around £30-£40, but are really too small and lack the resolution and precision for serious photo editing.

Fortunately there is now a viable alternative in the slim and stylish shape of this Genius G-Pen M712 tablet. It offers a big 12-inch by 7.25-inch (30.5 x 18.4cm) widescreen drawing area, a two-button pen, dual scroll wheels and 34 user-programmable buttons, all for the bargain price of under £90. It's even compatible with both Windows and Macintosh computers. So what's the catch?

Martin Daler

January 22, 2009, 2:54 am

nice to see a photo of the product in context, thanks. (looks like you hung on to a few of the other bits and pieces you reviewed too...)

hey you there

January 22, 2009, 3:43 am

Could you tell us what the active surface is like? I have a Genius Mouse Pen 8x6 and the drawing surface has no grip or texture whatsoever, it's like drawing with a ballpoint pen on glass.

Cliff Smith

January 22, 2009, 5:48 am

That's a good point, I should have mentioned that in the review. The drawing surface does have a texture; slightly rough but very fine grained. It's definitely a nicer drawing surface than my old Wacom Graphire 3 tablet, which is smooth and shiny like the one you describe.

Will Robinson

January 23, 2009, 3:56 am

Does it work with Vista 64? Can't find anything on the manufacturer's website to clarify this.

Cliff Smith

January 23, 2009, 7:03 pm

The M712 is a certified Vista compatible plug'n'play device, but I'm afraid I wasn't able to test it on Vista 64. I can't think of any reason why it shouldn't work though.

frenchie299

January 27, 2009, 5:48 pm

What's the catch ?


- as you said : the pen uses a battery. Wacom : no battery !


- the tablet supports only a pen, not a mouse. Wacom tablets support also a battery-less mouse, with same positional precision as the pen.





I have been using a Wacom tablet Intuos 2 since several years and I alternate mouse or pen on the tablet, depending on the work. The mouse is better for right-click or leaving the mouse cursor at a fixed position of the screen. The pen is perfect if you have to point-and-click repeatedly.

Skerplee

May 9, 2009, 3:31 pm

Well I don't know who came up first with this concept between


http://www.waltop.com.tw/produ... and Genius but I might agree that having this is still way advantageous for modern graphic illustrators and artist.


For the comment on battery, well its ok having it the AAA ones at least there'll be no problem with technical-related-problems due to internal batterys over certain time.


As for the less-Wacom feel this tablet has, well thats just a way to practice beginners into properly controlling their pulse and hand pressure (it's part of the training into tablets and such... I guess)


And lastly, its really somewhat 90% on the pen user not the pen itself.


I would recommend this from Beginner to Intermediate level artist seeking cheaper pen tablet alternatives.

S Lewis

July 30, 2010, 8:42 pm

I add my vote to have the blue flashing light zapped! Very annoying and unsettling - it implies there is a problem. Can't be too hard to fix in a driver update.

Briac

October 25, 2013, 2:31 am

And the point of using a mouse on a tablet is? More of a pain than anything as it needs to be on the tablet to work, probably the reason why, unless mistaken, they don't bundle wacom tablets with mice anymore.

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