There’s been a flux of Wacom rivals recently – all aimed at the enthusiast rather than professional scribblers, and all carrying enticing price tags. The MousePen from the rather humbly named Genius is a prime example of one of these tablets – for under £50, you get a mouse, pen and an A5 8x6-inch active work area.
Unlike many budget tablets – the pressure sensitivity is here, with the MousePen having a Wacom-equalling 1,024-levels. For anyone unsure of what this means – basically it’s how sensitive the tablet is to pen pressure. The harder you press, the darker, thicker the paint. The lighter you press, the lighter, thinner the stroke. And there’s loads of levels in-between. On paper it’s undeniably impressive.
But, like many Wacom competitors, the MousePen suffers from poor build quality. It’s nothing like the quality of the Graphire range, even. The package feels rather cheap and plasticky. The pen is powered by an AAA battery, and feels a little unbalanced, and the mouse is best left in the box. It’s just not what you want from something that you’ll be using often.
We wish we could say that we’ve found a budget tablet that rivals a Wacom. Until that day comes, we’ll stick by our guns and tell you to save up for a Graphire or Intuos – you won’t find anything better for digital painting.