Where we'd expect a six-bay NAS to be tall, QNAP has gone for horizontal, quite possibly to make rack adoption a little more friendly.
Not that this is a rack-mountable NAS, it's your standard high-quality box with drives that we've come to expect from QNAP, this time with six drive bays. It has an LCD screen informing of useful things like IP and disk status, and also allowing basic configuration.
There's a USB port on the front for copying to/from predefined directories, another four on the back, dual-gigabit Ethernet ports, dual-eSATA ports and a VGA port for troubleshooting.
The USB ports will happily take printers, external storage, UPS, IP cams and Wi-Fi dongles, but it's worth checking QNAP's compatibility list before you go on a USB spree.
Inside is an Atom 1.8GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and a 512MB DOM. By nature of its six drives, you have access to RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, 6, JBOD and single disk options.
If you don't need six drives and want to save money, you'll find the exact same configuration with one drive less in the. Or you could even drop down to the , but with only two drives you'll lose RAID 5 and 6 options.
User interface and features
QNAP's user interface (UI) is well thought out and excellently presented, considering it has to expose so many features. Upon first logging into the web UI, you're greeted with a CoverFlow-style screen that will take you to Administration, the web server, the web file manager and QNAP support. We've been complaining about this for a while — although it's pretty, it's just another click that's not needed. There's yet another unnecessary click that's enforced, too; if you click on anything other than "Administration", it pops up a dialog box pointlessly asking you to click on another link.
The thing's huge ... it goes on forever ... and — oh my gosh — it's full of features!
(Screenshot by CBS Interactive)
Once you're in, the cavalcade of features begins: IPv6 support; DDNS; timed hard disk standby; fan control; whitelist/blacklist ACLs; event notification by SMS, email or both; wake on LAN; automated firmware updates; encrypted volumes; iSCSI and virtual disk support; user and group management; network recycle bin support; SMB, AFP, NFS, SNMP and UPnP protocols; FTP and telnet/SSH access; a LAMP web server with virtual host ability; RSYNC, Amazon S3 backup and Time Machine compatibility for backups; and a button on front copies to or from the attached USB stick from or to a predetermined folder on the NAS.