NAS is apparently the next big thing, if you're to judge on pure volume of products alone. The latest contender comes from the relatively unknown Conceptronic, and manages to tick all the NAS boxes. Attached to network? Yes. Black and boxy? Sure is. Stores hard drives? Check.
While the rear features the power socket, Ethernet jack and a USB port for a printer, the front stands out by featuring a double-circle interface reminiscent of an iPod — however, only the button in the middle is interactive, turning the device on and off. The outer circle is used purely for status lights, the bottom showing network activity, the left showing the hard drive's activity that is stored in the left bay, and the right light doing the same for the right hand drive.
After releasing the locking mechanism underneath, the face of the device can be slipped off to reveal the two drive bays, along with the two release levers.
After you've mounted the hard drives of your choice, plugged it into the network and booted the NAS, you can access it through its Web interface. It's certainly not the most pretty of interfaces, but it's easy to navigate and all the expected features are here — single volume, JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1 support; USB print server support; SMB sharing; FTP, UPnP AV and iTunes servers; user and group management (although interestingly you can't have a user and a group named the same thing) which gives control over quotas and file/folder permissions; its own DHCP server; NTP syncing; email alerts and hard drive spin down. If you like to keep your PC off at night, the Grab'n'Go can also schedule downloads over FTP or HTTP.
While transferring our 1GB test file across a gigabit network, the Conceptronic managed a fairly standard 18.5MBps read, and 13.6MBps write. It's no in either performance or features, but then, it doesn't have to be — at AU$299 this is the cheap and cheerful equivalent, and will suit most people just fine.
A caveat though — the Grab'n'Go is so close to the feature set of the D-Link DNS-323, we wouldn't be surprised if the internals are identical — and considering D-Link's superior user interface and higher availability, you may find it a better choice.