At CES 2013 Dave visited with the guys in the QNAP booth. This provided the Home Server Show Podcast the opportunity to review the TS-269L in 2013. The TS-269L was a 2 bay NAS and was fun to review. For 2014 QNAP has introduced the QNAP TS-x51 Series and they have sent us a 4 bay TS-451 NAS to review and evaluate.
The contents of the box are an external power supply brick and cord, 2 ethernet cables, an assortment of screws and of course the NAS. There is also a Quick Installation Guide and a Getting Started Pamphlet.
Interestingly enough you must have an internet connection in your home to setup the NAS. QNAP does not send a disk instead using the start.qnap.com website and a Cloud Key to begin the system setup. I will demonstrate the setup in another article.
When I removed the NAS from the packaging the first things I noticed was it’s white and the case is completely made of plastic.
Even the drive trays are now made out of plastic.
The QNAP TS-269L I previously reviewed had stamped metal trays that felt like they were higher quality.
However, I encounter in my own job a reluctance for customers to use a plastic part over a metal part and I know the plastic part will work fine the in application. I have to give QNAP the benefit of the doubt here and we will see over time if the all plastic tray makes any difference.
Looking at the back of the NAS you will see a huge 120mm fan is utilized to move air past the drives and electronics inside.
Also on the back are 2 Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port, HDMI port and the power supply jack.
The front of the box has a 2nd USB 3.0 jack and 4 Hot-Swappable bays. The NAS is designed for 4 x 3.5” or 2.5” SATA 6Gb/s, SATA 3Gb/s hard drives or SSD.
Let’s take a look at the specs for this box.
CPU - Intel® Celeron® 2.41GHz dual-core processor (burst up to 2.58GHz)
DRAM - TS-451: 1GB DDR3L RAM expandable up to 8GB
Flash Memory - 512MB DOM
Hard Disk Drive - 4 x 3.5” or 2.5” SATA 6Gb/s, SATA 3Gb/s hard drive or SSD
1. The system is shipped without HDD.
2. For the HDD compatibility list, please visit http://www.qnap.com/compatibility
Hard Disk Tray - 4 x Hot-swappable tray
LAN Port - 2 x Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet port
LED Indicators - Status, LAN, USB, HDD 1-4
USB - 2 x USB 3.0 port (Front: 1, Rear: 1), 2 x USB 2.0 port (Rear: 2), Support USB printer, pen drive, and USB UPS etc.
HDMI - 1
Buttons - Power/Status, USB One-Touch-Backup, reset
Alarm Buzzer - System warning
IR Receiver - MCE-compatible
Form Factor - Tower
Dimensions - 177(H) x 180(W) x 235(D) mm; 6.97(H) x 7.09(W) x 9.25(D) inch
Weight - Net: 3 kg (6.61 lbs) / Gross: 4.3 kg (9.48 lbs)
Power Consumption (W)
HDD standby: 15.85W
S3 sleep: 0.55W
In operation: 31.07W
(with 4 x 1TB HDD installed)
Power Supply - External Power Adapter, 90W, 100-240V
Secure Design - Kensington security slot for theft prevention
Fan - 1 x quiet cooling fan (12 cm, 12V DC)
So specifications are great but what does this mean?
QNAP describes the TS-X51 Series as a High Performance Dual Core NAS with On-the-fly & Offline Full HD Video Transcoding. These devices are capable of transcoding multimedia content on the fly including Full HD (1080P) videos to mobile devices and other computers. Offline transcoding can allow the user to prepare a selection of optimized videos in advance for viewing on devices with smaller screen or when using a limited internet connection. I will be writing a future article that examines how this works and does it affect the useability of the NAS for other tasks.
The TS-x451 series is also the world’s first home NAS with an integrated virtualization solution. The Virtualization app will allow users to effortlessly operating VM’s that run Windows, Linux or UNIX. To provide this functionality a minimum of 2GB of RAM is required so QNAP has provided 4GB of RAM in the TS-451 for review.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for all the capabilities of this NAS which provides features like streaming your videos via DLNA, Airplay and Plex. Personal cloud storage is provided through the QSync app that I reviewed on the TS-269L. I plan to explore and talk about many of these features and my experience using them as I use the TS-451 and learn it’s potential.
One of the nice features of the QNAP devices is they all use the same QTS operating system. Once you are familiar with the interface, features and apps you can work on any of the QNAP NAS devices and already be familiar with the interface.
One additoinal note. In the TS-X51 Series QNAP offers 2 bay, 4 bay, 6 bay and 8 bay devices. If that isn’t going to be enough storage space for you the TS-X51 Series can be expanded with the additional of a UX-500P or EX-800P Expansion Enclosure. These will add an additional 5 or 8 bays respectively of additional storage on the NAS using a USB 3.0 connection. While the expansion boxes are not going to be reviewed at this time it’s nice to know these options exist.
Leave me a note in the comments if there is something specific you would like to see or a question you have.
My next step is to make sure I have some hard drives from the QNAP compatibility list http://www.qnap.com/i/useng/product_x_grade/?hf=old and start setting up the NAS.