Like the M712 the M609X has a resolution of 4000 lines per inch, compared with 5080 lines per inch for the latest Wacom Intuos 4. The pen has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, compared with 2048 for the Wacom, and it doesn’t have the Wacom pen’s angle sensitivity. Nonetheless the pen draws very smoothly, and the pressure sensitivity is good enough to produce realistic airbrush effects, or to mimic the action of a painting or calligraphy brush.
When I reviewed the M712, I noted that the driver supplied on the accompanying CD-ROM was very slow, and that downloading a new driver from the Genius website markedly improved the tablet’s performance. It seems that Genius has learned by its mistake, because the driver supplied with the M609X is much improved, and indeed is the same version (v3.42) as is available for download from the website. It’s still not quite as slick as the instant response you get with the £400 Wacom Intuos 4, and there is a small but noticeable lag when drawing or painting with fast long strokes, but in most situations, and especially in delicate photo editing, it’s barely noticeable, and the tablet performs smoothly and effectively.
There’s no question that the Wacom Intuos 4 is a much better pen tablet than the Genius M609X, but then the M609X costs about one fifth of the price of the Wacom, and for the money it performs extremely well. For general photo editing and graphics work, as well as for any handwriting applications, it’s fun to use and an absolute bargain.
For just £80 the Genius G-Pen M609X pen tablet offers good build quality, stylish appearance, a useful range of features and surprisingly solid performance. It’s not as good as the expensive Wacom Intuous 4, but you’re not going to find anything to beat it for the price. It’s a real bargain and ideal for general graphics work.
Score in detail