Exterior and Interior Design
The case of the TS-109Pro II is made from thick anodized aluminum which is the material of expensive devices. The surface of the case is somewhat rough. Your fingers will leave almost no trace on it. The front and back panels are made from black matte plastic. The overall mix of colors and materials looks stylish, but is also practical.
Although this NAS can be positioned horizontally if you want, its case is designed to stand upright. This is indicated by the smooth sides and the captions on the front panel that you can read normally only when the device is placed on the stands. The aluminum stands match the device’s design perfectly. There are no grooves or anything to fix them on the case. Instead, the stands are somewhat springy and have rubber pads on the interior surface in order to embrace the NAS tightly. Alas, the grip is not tight enough and the stands slip off the case quite easily. They stand firm on a desk surface, however, due to the rubber feet.
One of the main advantages of the TS-109Pro II is that it has no fans and should produce very little noise (its noise level will depend on the noisiness of the hard disk you install into it). This is a hefty advantage for a home device that is expected to work all day long in a living apartment. Indeed, we could only hear the motor of the hard disk during our tests of the TS-109Pro II. When the HDD was in standby mode, the NAS proved to be absolutely silent. Of course, passive cooling is less efficient than active (with a fan), especially when the HDD is under load. We checked the efficiency of cooling of our TS-109Pro II, of course. The current HDD temperature was displayed on the statistics page of the NAS’s Setup Manager, but we verified it using an infrared thermometer. Having removed the top panel, we measured the temperature of the HDD at work. The showings of the temperature sensor proved to coincide with what was reported by our thermometer. The HDD temperature was 41°C in idle mode. Then we loaded the HDD by running an IOMeter pattern with 50% random requests, 50% reads, and with a data chunk size of 32KB. The HDD was 45°C hot at the end of the test, which was good. Such temperatures are absolutely safe for a HDD. We ran the test at an ambient temperature of 20-22°C, so your HDD may be hotter if the ambient temperature is higher.
Before installing a HDD into this NAS, you may want to have a look at the controls and indicators it has. The front panel carries the following (from left to right):
- Backup button
- USB 2.0 port
- USB activity indicator
- Status indicator
- HDD activity indicator
- eSATA activity indicator
- LAN indicator
- Power indicator
- Power button
The indication system is based on ordinary LEDs (the Status indicator is dual-color) that are connected to light pipes, but the indicators have different colors and are shaped according to the corresponding captions and icons. This is a simple and effective solution as a quick glance is enough to see the necessary indicator. The brightness of the indicators is optimal, too.
The back panel of the NAS carries the following components (from left to right):
- Two USB 2.0 ports
- eSATA port
- LAN connector
- Reset button
- Power connector
- Kensington security slot
Like most single-disk NASes, this one doesn’t support hot-swapping, so you have to take the device apart in order to install the hard disk. When we took our TS-109Pro II out of the box, we found the necessary screws neatly packed. The NAS’s case consists of two pieces: the top and front panels make up one piece. The other piece is the back and bottom panels together with the PCB and the aluminum frame for fastening the hard disk. That frame also serves as a heat-spreader because the internal disk doesn’t have any other contact with the case. The HDD is connected to the PCB via a single connector that is soldered to the latter.
We found one drawback when we were installing our hard disk into the NAS. The pieces of the case do not cling to each other tight enough. They are not fixed between each other even when closed. And if you don’t tighten the case with self-tipping screws, there is a rather wide gap between the side panel and the back or front panel. Otherwise, we have no complaints about the design of the case.
To take a look at the components of the PCB we had to unfasten the HDD frame first. Then we unscrewed the PCB from the bottom of the case. That was not difficult. The PCB is about the same size as the bottom panel it is fastened to. Most of the components are installed on one side, save for two memory chips and a few elements accompanying the controllers. The connectors, buttons and indicators are, on the contrary, all installed on the reverse side of the PCB. The mounting quality is high as you can expect from such a top-end device.