Review Price free/subscription
Genius G-Pen M712 Pen Tablet
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?