The Pensketch tablet is pretty much as you would expect. A 9 by 12 inch active area is surrounded with a simple grey bezel. There is a line of buttons that can be customized running along the top of the active area, which can get in the way when drawing. Only Wacom have realised that this causes problems and has removed this feature from their range of Intuos tablets. It is often the little things like this that make or break a product.
The tablet connects to the PC or Mac via a standard USB cable and apart from the battery for the pen or wireless mouse, this is all you need to get started. I would recommend that you download the latest drivers from the Genius website as they have recently been updated to work with newer software products such as the Adobe CS4 range.
The Genius Pensketch 9×12 features 1024 levels of sensitivity and comes packaged with a slightly lightweight 3 button cordless pen. Also in the box you will find a CD with drivers and some sample/trial software. The box we had came packaged with the full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 and a trial of Adobe Photoshop CS and Corel Painter IX. Quite a good choice of software really, considering the price point that this item retails at.
As with other Genius graphics tablets, this device has quite a few low reviews if you read through them on Amazon. The unit that we tested did not suffer from any manufacturing defects and worked perfectly when we tested it. We used it to write on some Word documents as well as give our artistic stylings a bash in Photoshop. Some have complained that the pen is not picked up when scanning it above the surface of the tablet but we experienced none of these issues at all.
Overall and to sum up, this is a worthy addition to the Genius range of graphics tablets and it should not be overlooked. Some people prefer to opt for well known makes such as Wacom and the old adage is true; you get what you pay for. If you are looking for a reasonably priced, no frills product, the the Genius Pensketch USB 9×12 is a perfect investment.