Articles: Networking

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The N2800 network attached storage device from Thecus we tested recently has an elder cousin. The N4800 model is designed for four disks and has a couple of added features. First, it is equipped with a built-in battery that protects data against power failures. Second, it has a full-size PCIe and a miniPCIe slot which can be used to add more network interfaces to it.

The rest of the specifications are almost the same: an Intel Atom D2700 processor with support for four execution threads, 2 gigabytes of system memory, a DOM with firmware, USB 3.0 and eSATA ports, and an HDMI output. The four-disk model also features a dot-matrix display with controls on the front panel. You can use them to monitor and adjust some of the device’s parameters.

Package and Accessories

There are but few changes from the junior model in terms of packaging and accessories. The box is larger at 31x26x30 cm and has a carry handle although the N4800 is considerably heavier. You can see photos, specifications and usage scenarios of the product right on its packaging.

Although the N4800 has a large case, its power adapter is external. We don’t think that the PSU’s full 120 watts can really be utilized whatever disk configuration you may use.

The box also contains an Ethernet cable, a mains cord, HDD fasteners, keys for the disk bays, documentation, a battery, and a software bundle (including Acronis True Image Professional 2010). The full version of the user manual available in electronic format is over 160 pages long.

Exterior Design

The N4800 resembles its predecessor N4200. The manufacturer hasn’t invested into its design, but the NAS looks good enough anyway. The case is about 17x25x20 cm. The front panel is made of plastic. The rest of the case is metallic. The color is conservative but the multicolored indicators in the left part of the front panel enliven the black case.

The dot-matrix display is accompanied with as many as four buttons, so it is quite handy to use. The access is password-protected, by the way.

There is a Power switch in the bottom left. Shutting the NAS down requires an additional confirmation via the display, which is good. It is arguable whether high-speed USB 3.0 ports should be on the front or back panel, but the Thecus N4800 has two such connectors on its front. The disk bay is covered with a metallic mesh door. It is the only vent hole for the HDDs.

On the back we can see expansion card and battery slots, a 92mm fan grid, a power connector, VGA and HDMI video outputs, one analog audio output, two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA connector, and two Gigabit Ethernet connectors. The power connector is placed rather too high, but the 4-pin power cord holds tight in it.

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