Genius G-Pen M712 Pen Tablet - Genius G-Pen M712

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


There really isn't any catch. Of course the technical specification isn't quite up to the standard of a product that costs over four times as much, but it is surprisingly close. It has a drawing resolution of 4,000 lpi (lines per inch), compared to 5,080lpi for an A4 Intuos3. The pen offers 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, which matches the Wacom pen, and the active drawing area is only a couple of centimetres smaller. The Intuos3 tablets only have 10 programmable hotkeys, and don't have scroll wheels, but they do have pen angle sensitivity, something which the Genius tablet lacks. This is a feature that is really not that important for photo editing, although artists who like to paint and draw using a tablet may miss it. The drawing area can be switched at the touch of a button between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios.

I've been using the M712 for about a week now, in place of my old A5 Wacom Graphire tablet, and I'm very impressed with it, although I have to say it didn't start out that way. When I first installed the M712, I noticed that the pen response was very slow, and I also discovered a number of problems with other programs, which I quickly determined were caused by the device drivers supplied with the tablet. However when I uninstalled them, cleaned up my PC's registry and then installed new updated drivers downloaded from Genius's website all the problems disappeared, and the device has been working flawlessly ever since. I'd suggest that if you buy this tablet, ditch the supplied driver disk and download the updated drivers straight away. Hopefully the updated drivers will be included in subsequent releases, but for now it's a case of better safe than sorry. I didn't have the opportunity to test the Macintosh drivers, but I'd suggest the same precaution.

The other software supplied with the M712 is interesting. It comes with two complete photo editing programs; Ulead/Corel PhotoImpact 12SE and Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0, both of which are full OEM versions. Personally I prefer Elements, but PhotoImpact is also a very capable editing program. As well as these there are two rather nifty utilities that are installed along with the tablet drivers. One is the macro key manager used to program the hot key shortcuts on the tablet, and the other is Office Ink, a strange little program that lets you hand-write notes directly onto your desktop background, or to write and sketch in MS Office documents and emails, and then embed the graphics as GIF images into the documents, which can be used for adding your signature to product loan forms, if you happen to review gadgets for a living.

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.


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.


May 9, 2009, 3:31 pm

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


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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