The G-Pen M712 is an impressively roomy 12x7in graphics tablet at a price that shouldn't break the bank.

Able to switch between standard and widescreen active areas, the Genius G-Pen M712 is compatible with a range of graphics software.

The G-Pen M712 also offers some interactivity with Office type documents, with the capability to add handwritten notes to digital drafts and emails.

Potentially a bargain then, but the Genius G-Pen M712 lacks the seemingly indestructible build and stylish good looks of Wacom's premium-priced Intuos3 and Cintiq range.

Predominately black with silver-grey hot keys, macro keys and rolling pad for either hand, the G-Pen M712 tablet's half dozen function-determined LED displays glow blue when powered by the USB lead. Annoyingly, the lefthand-side LED flickers constantly on and off to show the tablet is working correctly.

English instructions take up just three pages of the 70-plus pages in the user's manual, so it's difficult to see how you could ever turn this off without resorting to a dab of black nail varnish. Beyond this distraction the addition of 34 macro keys around the Genius G-Pen M712's active area is more visual clutter.

The bundled cordless pen is a little chunky, requiring room for an AAA battery, which is somewhat fiddly to fit, although, as Genius suggests, this shouldn't need changing often. Oddly an eraser end is not included so the Genius G-Pen M712's pen can't be conveniently flipped for quick corrections.

A high accuracy of 4000 LPI and 1024-levels of pressure sensitivity sound impressive and the pen, in these large hands at least, felt fine and with some fine tuning proved responsive.

For Mac OS X users, the Genius G-Pen M712's overhaul functionality is let down by the unpredictable and somewhat buggy Mac drivers that occasionally stalled and stuttered, under Leopard at least.

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Genius G-Pen M712: Specs

  • Graphics tablet with switchable working area of 12x7.25in or 9.5x7.25in to match display's widescreen or standard aspect ratio
  • left- and righthand roll pads for 4-way scrolling, zooming in / out and volume control
  • 4000 LPI resolution for highly accurate and sensitive cursor control
  • Cordless 2 button pen with 1024 level pressure sensitivity for variable line thickness / density
  • Supports Vista functions such as handwriting recognition, digital inking, Pen Flick navigation and editing. Includes full version of Adobe PhotoShop Elements 5.0
  • Mac OS X drivers available
  • 360x485x65mm
  • 2.1kg
  • Graphics tablet with switchable working area of 12x7.25in or 9.5x7.25in to match display's widescreen or standard aspect ratio
  • left- and righthand roll pads for 4-way scrolling, zooming in / out and volume control
  • 4000 LPI resolution for highly accurate and sensitive cursor control
  • Cordless 2 button pen with 1024 level pressure sensitivity for variable line thickness / density
  • Supports Vista functions such as handwriting recognition, digital inking, Pen Flick navigation and editing. Includes full version of Adobe PhotoShop Elements 5.0
  • Mac OS X drivers available
  • 360x485x65mm
  • 2.1kg

OUR VERDICT

Size and value for money are key plusses here, let down by some less than responsive drivers and a look of showy overkill. The Genius G-Pen M712 shows strong potential.

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