APRIL 10, 2008
Genius Pensketch 9x12
mouse, digitizer, stylus
Patience required but well rewarded
I have never seen, touched, or even thought about using a Pensketch or Graphics Tablet. When it was suggested I try one I said “No thanks.” Then it came up again and I changed to “Why not?” So I asked for a small one maybe the size of my current mouse pad. When the box came it was very big but not too heavy. I opened the box to and found a Genius PenSketch with a 9’ by 12” work surface and an overall size of 13.7” by 15”. Not quite what I asked for. I closed the box and thought about it every so often but was overwhelmed by other articles. Lets face it I was also chicken. Hearing from a persistent marketing person every once in awhile has caused me to get it out and give the Genius Pensketch 9ﾔx 12ﾔ a try. I had no room on my computer desk so had to place a side table next to the desk to hold the Pensketch and the included Mouse, Pen, and pen holder. There is a USB cable attached to the Pensketch so it is easy to connect to any USB port. The CD is packed with software. Some full and others trial versions.
PenSketch 9"x 12" tablet
Pen Holder x 1
Pen Tips x 2
AAA batteries x 2 (for the pen and the mouse)
Quick installation guide
- Tablet driver (includes electronic user's manual)
- PenSuite programs
- Adobe Photoshop CS (Trial)
- Corel Painter IX (Trial Version)
- Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 (Full)
Remember I have no experience using this type of accessory so don’t blame everything that I went through on the Genius Pensketch. I am sure I would have had similar issues with others.
I had the entire Pensketch Connected to the Lenovo ThinkPadand set up and running in no time. My first project was learning how to be comfortable moving the pen or mouse. This was not easy. Pen/mouse movement was slow and, at times, jerky. I seemed to have problems covering the entire 9 by 12 area with any kind of fluidity. When I wanted to click to open a program that was at the left side of the tablet and I started from the right side it would not reach. I lifted the pen and tried to move it in the air as I would the mouse on my other computer. The arrow pointer still moved as it continued getting direction from the mouse/pen signal. I was able to adjust the speed on the pointer so things moved faster. I am sure there are ways to change other settings so as to have better control over the pen/mouse movements on the tablet. The Pensketch Series manual included on the CD is not specific to this unit but it is very helpful as a getting started tool. I recommend you read it carefully and keep it open while setting up and getting acquainted with the Pensketch. This is not a product that passes my install and use without a manual test.
The Pen can act as a mouse as well as a writing/painting/drawing tool. The tip can be used for left click, left double click, right click, or right double click functions. All pen click settings can be changed using the included Pensketch software that comes on the CD. It is accessed by clicking on the icon in the in the quick Launch toolbar. There is a sort of rocker button on the barrel of the pen that can also be set to assist with mouse clicks. It ships so the bottom (toward the pen tip) when clicked is like clicking a middle mouse button. Clicking the upper portion of the barrel button is preset as a right click. These settings can be changed around to suit your work habits. The timing of a double click can be set just like any mouse. Using the Pen for a signature, See below.
Under SCOPE you can set the screen area, ratio, and something called “reserve edges.” Pen pressure measurements can be set as well as click sensitivity and the color used by the pen under the Pressure tab. Looking at the top of the tablet surface you will see twenty clickable (by pen) buttons. Fifteen of these are dedicated to functions already and five buttons are left for you to decide what you want them to do. Setting these up are quite easy The five unassigned buttons can be set under the Hot Cells tab. I set two of mine to open Photoshop Elements 6 and Word. I left the others for future use. Preset buttons include many of the functions you would normally use like NEW, OPEN, SAVE, PRINT, CUT, COPY, PASTE, UNDO, REDO, PAGE UP, PAGE DOWN, BACK, FORWARD, FIND, and ENTER. The presets can be changed to fit your own needs but are limited in the type of actions available to them. They do work as I tested many of them as well as the custom ones I set up. You can also set Keyboard shortcuts for many of these options in the same software area
Below: Before and after using the pen with the Lasso tool in Elements on the lion
Using the included Mouse
I reset the mouse to fit my needs but still found the size of the tablet space required me to move my body and extend my arm in order to reach all corners. There may be a setting to change the ratio of movements to space covered. Otherwise the mouse worked like a mouse. I do not think the mouse is intended to access the Hot Cells. I understand many users like the pen so much that they use it for everything and seldom use a mouse. I was able to open folders and files as well as start programs using only the pen to click on shortcuts on the Lenovo ThinkPad.
This included package gives you many interesting ways to write, annotate, and sign work in common software programs used for productivity.
PenCommander allows you to control your computer with simple graffiti on your screen.
Annotate All gives you easy to use and powerful tools to put handwritten notes, drawings, and text on the screen, and save them as screenshots.
Annotate for Word you can make and save handwritten annotations in Microsoft Word documents.
PenMail allows you to write and send handwritten e-mails.
PenSigner allows you to sign your name or to draw a simple picture and insert it into a document
PenPresenter enables you to enhance your presentations with handwritten annotations in all sorts of applications, and allows you to create multi-page whiteboards. PenPresenter is fully compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint.
This was an educational experience. On the one hand I can see the reason professionals would need a Pensketch/Tablet and this one would seem to fill the bill. On the other I think my requirements, as with many others, are not even close to the capabilities of the Genius Pensketch 9x12. If you are curious I suggest trying one of the smaller Genius units as a test before investing in this one. There are many tutorials on the web that can help you get up to speed. If you are a beginning designer, artist, or need annotation the Genius Pensketch 9x12 is very capable. At $149.00 MSRP it will save you many dollars over competing products. Professionals will know better than I if the Pensketch is for them.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS AND OTHER GENIUS PRODUCTS