Artists who want to completely replace pencil and paper with an electronic equivalent will find Alias Sketchbook Pro 2 very useful, especially if you own a Tablet PC. But right up front, it should be made clear that this is a totally no-frills application. And the program is worthless without a pressure-sensitive tablet such as the Wacom Intuos or a Tablet PC, so if you don't own one, you'll need to add the cost to the already pricey application.
Because Sketchbook is designed to be simple, you won't find any creative brushes, textures, papers, fancy transparency effects, filters, or any of the functions that lurk inside Painter or Photoshop. We're not saying that's bad--paring down the feature set to simple drawing tools also squashes the learning curve flat--but don't expect Alias Sketchbook to come equipped with exotic watercolor brushes and image hoses.
Concept artists, Tablet PC owners, and digital doodlers will find Alias Sketchbook Pro 2 to be a fast way to whip out drawings and annotate images. We do think the program is relatively expensive, its innovative interface notwithstanding. If you are looking to get started with digital drawing and want more bang for the buck, we recommend you try Project Dogwaffle or experiment with a free trial of Pixarra's Twisted Brush.