Genius PenSketch 9x12

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Genius PenSketch 9x12

The build quality is a little disappointing.


Graphics tablets are a sound investment for creative types, especially Photoshoppers. But we suspect that the reason more people aren’t using them is that they’re so darn expensive. We eventually discovered that while the PenSketch 9x12 has a reasonable price, it has shortcomings that might make it worth the extra money for a better tablet.


The PenSketch tablet is solid, but the bundled stylus and mouse feel cheap. The flimsy mouse rattles, and its scrollwheel isn’t really a wheel, but rather a switch that rocks forward and back. The chunky stylus lacks heft, and the spongy buttons on the shaft are difficult to press without an awkward motion. The poorly weighted pen well rocks when you drop the stylus into it. The stylus and mouse each require one AAA battery. Despite the questionable construction, the devices work well—it just takes some practice to get used to their nuances.


The driver software (which you download from Genius’s website) is a mixed bag. You can define what the stylus tip and the two buttons do, and you can specify the functions for the top tablet buttons. Commendably, the software lets you define the active table area manually, and it can automatically map to your monitor’s aspect ratio or put it in letterbox format.


The one major feature the PenSketch 9x12 lacks is an “eraser,” where you can flip the stylus upside-down and scrub away your mistakes, like you would with a pencil. Wacom’s styli have this invaluable ability, and for graphics pros it’s a make-or-break feature.


The bottom line. If you’re on a budget, the PenSketch 9x12 can do the job, but be ready to make some compromises when it comes to the build quality.




PRICE: $199


Feasible Wacom alternative. Good driver software.

Feels cheap. Requires batteries. No bundled Mac software.





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