The designers did not invent anything original with the exterior of this device. It has a cubic case somewhat embellished through the choice of materials: an aluminum cover painted the color of bronze and a black plastic front panel. Some elements are not quite good, though. The front display has only two buttons although there is quite enough space for five. Controlling it with the two available buttons is far from handy. Fortunately, you don’t have to use it often.
Then, the Power button is large and somewhat protruding. It is good for turning the device on, but there is also a chance of the NAS getting shut down by your just touching this button accidentally. It would be better if it had a few seconds’ timer. And the oddest design solution is that the button for copying data from a USB device is designed like a frame around the USB connector. As if the designers did not think that the user would only use this button when there is a USB drive plugged into the connector! Fortunately, all of this has little to do with the NAS’s main purpose.
There are four LED indicators on the front panel: status, network, USB, eSATA. The activity of the installed HDDs is reported by the green LEDs placed above each cage. The cages themselves are standard enough – a metallic frame and a plastic latch with lock.
On the device’s back panel there is a connector for the power adapter, a grid of the power adapter’s 40mm fan, a grid of the main 92mm fan (made from translucent plastic), a Kensington security slot, and all of the NAS’s input/output ports: two eSATA ports, two Gigabit Ethernet connectors, four USB 2.0 ports, and a VGA port (DB15). There is also an inconspicuous Reset button there. As you can learn from this description, the NAS offers wide expansion opportunities. A mainstream PC of a few years ago used to have a comparable selection of connectors!
The air for the cooling system goes through the slits between the installed HDDs in the front panel. There is also a small grid in the left panel of the case. The fans are controlled by an integrated speed management system, so the NAS is quiet overall. However, we would not recommend you to install it in your bedroom unless you replace the fan and select quiet HDDs for it.
The NAS stands on 5mm black plastic feet with rubber inserts that minimize vibrations from the operating HDDs.