The LG 1TB 1-Bay N1T1 is the first of its kind we've seen. The device is a NAS server, an external hard drive, and an external DVD burner all in one, with each of these roles able to hold their own.
On the down side, however, the LG is lacking in terms of capacity. It has only one built-in hard drive and no other way to add more storage and you can't replace the hard drive yourself. In our testing, the speed of the device when used as an external hard drive could also use some improvement.
Priced at around $200 with 1TB of storage included, the LG N1T1 is an ideal backup device for those who don't need lots of storage. If you don't care for flexibility and want the ability to add more storage, however, we'd recommend the HP MediaSmart EX195.
Design and setup
Considering the three aforementioned roles, the LG N1T1 is a lot more compact than one would expect, thanks to its slot-load design for the built-in DVD burner. The device's internal storage includes a 1TB SATA hard drive. LG says it will also sell a 2TB version in the near future. We certainly hope so, as the device is not built to allow users to service the internal hard drive on their own.
The device is designed to work in the vertical position and comes with a detachable base that helps to keep it from toppling. On the back is the Gigabit Ethernet port (for the NAS function) and an USB A female port.
Unlike other USB A female ports, such as those found on the back of a computer, this port can be used both in the A female and B female roles.
When using the LG as a NAS server, you can connect a printer to this USB port, when using it as an external hard drive/DVD burner, you can use the USB port to connect the device to a computer using the included "A male to A male" USB cable. This is rather unusual; most regular USB devices include a B female port to be used with regular A male to B male USB cable. That said, make sure you keep this included USB cable around as it might be hard to find a replacement.
Unfortunately, the LG's USB port can't be used to host an external storage device, meaning there's no way to add more storage to the device.
Also on the back, there's the power button and a switch that quickly changes the role of the LG N1T1 among a NAS server, an external hard drive, or an external DVD burner. You can do this even when the device is powered on but of course you should only perform this switch when the device is idle.
The slot-load DVD drive of the LG is on the front, next to the Eject and Backup buttons. The Backup button allows for quickly backing up the data on the device's built-in storage, onto a DVD disc.
It's easy to set up the LG N1T1. When the device is used as an external hard drive or DVD burner, just connect it to a computer via the USB connection and turn it on. The computer then recognizes the external hard drive or the external DVD drive automatically and you can use the newly added drive the same as the internal drives included in your computer.
When used as a NAS server, the LG N1T1 comes with a software utility that helps detect the device from the network and launch its Web interface, which is similar to most other NAS servers. The LG's Web interface is well-organized, self-explanatory, and responsive, allowing you to further customize the functionality of the device as a NAS server.