I had expected the PCB to be the same as in the earlier-tested product, but it is actually smaller at 12x16 centimeters. The labels on the PCB prove that the original manufacturer of the NAS is Promise Technology Inc.
The Javelin S4 is based on AMCC’s 800MHz 431EXr processor with PowerPC architecture which is covered with a small heatsink. System memory is made up by two chips with a total capacity of 256 megabytes; the firmware with OS image is stored in a 128MB flash memory chip. There are also an auxiliary network chip IP1001 and a SATA controller Promise PDC42819 on the PCB. The LAN port, USB controller and eSATA support are all implemented through the central processor.
Besides the main PCB, there are two additional cards: one with SATA ports for HDDs and another for the front-panel indicators.
Although the Javelin S4 has a plastic exterior, it’s got a strong metallic chassis inside. Every component is securely fastened to the chassis.
As I’ve noted above, the cooling fan is rather quiet but has a nonstandard thickness of only 15 millimeters.
The NAS has its firmware written into its own flash memory chip, so you only have to install your HDDs and connect the power and LAN cables to get it going. The HDD frames are made of soft but robust plastic and allow installing standard 3.5-inch devices only. The current version of the compatibility list names one 3-terabyte model from Western Digital, so you can pack as much as 12 terabytes into this NAS. The frames have no locks, so the HDDs are only kept in place by the SATA connectors. The HDD bay’s door can be closed with a simple lock.
Next you have to find the Power button which is placed rather inconveniently at the back.
Then you can launch the included Dashboard utility (originally called SmartNavi) to set up some basic parameters (like IP address), connect to the NAS, make a backup copy of or restore PC data, view media files. Full settings can only be accessed via the web-interface, though. Available in several languages, it works only on ports 80 and 443 for HTTP and HTTPS, respectively.
The user interface is not exciting by today’s standards and looks like a schoolboy’s homework done offhandedly. Fortunately, this doesn’t affect its speed. In the first window you choose the feature you want to access: administration, downloads, media server, etc. Then you will see a classic interface with a menu on the left and a few tabs in the main area. If the user remains inactive for 10 minutes, the web-interface closes automatically.
I tested my Javelin S4 with firmware version 02.01.4000.20 which is referred to at the official website as “Javelin S4 Media Server Firmware Update - .v1”.