The HyRead Gaze Plus Color is a brand new color e-reader and digital note taker. It is the company’s first attempt to use E INK Kaleido 2 Color E-Paper, which makes reading comics, manga, magazines and PDF files delightful. This is a smaller device than most color products on the market, and it’s fairly affordable at $430 and comes with a case and stylus.
The HyRead Gaze Note Plus Color features a 7.8-inch E-INK Carta and Kaleido Plus e-paper display. The resolution of black and white is 1448 x 1072 with 300 PPI. The resolution on the color panel is 482 x 357 with 100 PPI. It has a front-lit display for reading at night and there are about 17 white LED lights. The screen is fully flush with the bezel and protected by a layer of glass.
One of the most exciting factors is being able to draw in color. There are around 19 colors to choose from. You can use these as a color palette for drawing, grading papers, writing notes or annotating any document or e-book. There’s a layer of WACOM on the screen, so you can buy the optional $39 stylus or use your own. There is a total of 4096 degrees of pressure sensitivity and the screen also has palm rejection. On-screen drawing is pretty good, there’s enough friction that it doesn’t feel like you’re writing on a glass slab. I like how you can use this as a color only e-reader or as an e-note, it’s up to the user to determine.
Under the hood is a quad-core 1.8GHz processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. You should have room for your book collection, but as you’ll likely want to import a bunch of PDF documents for editing, there’s an SD card that can hold an extra 512GB, which is really amazing. The vast majority of e-readers or enotes on the market have abandoned SD cards, but Hyread is a pleasant exception. There’s a USB-C port for charging and transferring data to the device, it also has Bluetooth 4.0 so you can use wireless headphones to listen to audiobooks, podcasts or music. If you don’t fancy headphones, there’s a single speaker with a capable audio system. It is powered by a 3200mAh battery and can be fully charged in just around 2.5 hours. It also has a built-in microphone for voice communication or audio dictation.
Android 11 is the operating system and there really is no app store to speak of, instead you should install a third-party app market like the Amazon App Store, the Samsung Galaxy Store or the Good e-Reader App Store.
The retail packaging is great, it has a gradient scheme that uses pastel tones, it lists the make and model in English as well as Chinese. HyRead is based in Taiwan, but they’ve always supported an English-only interface to appeal to broader markets. On the back are light specs and a bunch of certifications. When you open the box, the e-reader is surrounded by wax paper instead of a static plastic bag. I love how the industry is moving in this direction and getting rid of plastic wherever it can. There’s a quick start guide and warranty information, and a white USB-C cable.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audio books and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.