The tablet is very large at 9”x 12” making it comfortable to work on. Despite it’s size, it can still fit within a 17”+ laptop friendly backpack, making transportation easy.
The drawing surface is smooth, but not slick, providing a nice smooth feel while using the pen or mouse without being "slippery" and un-precise.
The front of the tablet is bevelled for comfort and wrist support.The smooth black plastic edge transitions nicely and evenly to the drawing area with no rough edges or extreme height differences which allows your hand to move smoothly over the surface.
The bottom has four no-slip grips to help keep your tablet stable while drawing but offers no options for changing the elevation of the tablet. The grips work well and keep the tablet firmly in place during use.
The USB cable is not detachable and connects into the unit at the top left corner, about an inch and a half from the edge. I found the location of the USB to be somewhat inconvenient; when you place the tablet directly in front of a laptop, the cord is bent back against the tablet itself. Over time, this could damage the USB cord. It is a very small design quirk that is only an issue if you are working with a laptop directly above and against the tablet, or transporting the tablet in a backpack. Having the cord attach to the left side instead of the top or making it detachable would have remedied the issue.
The drawing area lifts up in a ‘tracing pad’ style to allow you to place paper or illustrations underneath the semi-translucent top layer. This layer is surprisingly easy to see through and tracing a simple drawing worked as expected when testing - although somewhat impractical. You will likely have a better result by simply scanning in a sketch into your favorite drawing program and tracing on-screen.
There are 8 configurable express keys located at the top of the tablet. The buttons are set slightly below the tablet surface and are very easy to feel and press. They have a soft, tactile click that gives clear feedback when button was pressed. Some tablets have opted for digital ‘touch screen’ type buttons, but when you are using these express keys without looking at them, it is nice to have that tactile feedback.
The light above the Genius logo turns blue on every click or pen stroke. I was worried that this may be somewhat distracting, but I hardly noticed it at all while working.
The pen is slightly longer than your standard ballpoint with three click options; the pen tip and two buttons on the grip. Unfortunately, this pen does not have an eraser built in like some other tablet models, but there is an eraser button built into the express keys on the tablet.
The peripherals for this tablet are completely power independent and do not need batteries, charging or cords. Many high-end tablets use this setup, but it is extremely convenient, nonetheless, not to have to worry about making sure your pen or mouse has enough ‘juice’ to get you through a project.
The pen is very lightweight and smooth, almost slippery, and does not have a rubber grip. The buttons on the grip are large and easy to press while working; unfortunately, it also means they are easy to hit on accident. Despite this, the pen is comfortable to use for long periods of time.
The tip of the pen is made of opaque white plastic. There is a bit of spring to the tip that gives drawing a very natural and smooth feel. A pen nib remover is included in the box, but no extra nibs.
The mouse is approximately the same size as most notebook mice and has a similar feel. It has two standard mouse buttons and scrolling wheel. The bottom has two felt feet for smooth movement across the pad surface and a sensor bar in the middle.
To get the mouse ‘synced’ with the pad, you need to click one of the mouse buttons every time you place the mouse on the pad. If you find yourself lifting the mouse off the pad during normal use, you need to click to re-sync it again.
Aside from the left click, all other buttons on the mouse (including the scroll and click of the mouse wheel) are customizable with the included tablet configuration software.
The Tablet configuration software is basic and easy to use. Each of the peripherals has it’s own settings menu with two tabs: “Setting” for configuring buttons and “Action” to modify things like mousing speed, pen pressure sensitivity and active area on the tablet.
Although there are many aspects of the tablet that are customizable, I was disappointed by the amount of features that were offered by the software. It felt like there could have been more done to spruce up this interface, but it worked alright, overall.