Somewhat mitigating this are shortcuts along the bottom that link to the most frequently viewed stats: RAID information, disks information and system status, the latter of which is erroneously named "FAN". There's also a networking button, but vexingly, it doesn't work.
While a big improvement, the UI still needs some work, and feels old. Check out those menu options waaaay down at the bottom left. Click one, and it'll scoot to the top, meaning massive amounts of mouse exercising if you're doing the initial set up. (Screenshot by CBS Interactive)
The N7700 Pro is still a heavily featured NAS though — all the usual suspects are here from beeping and email notifications, to power-on schedules, UPS monitoring and wake on LAN. It has support for SMB, AFP, NFS, Nsync and Bonjour protocols; it runs FTP, sFTP, UPnP, iTunes and printer servers; will mount ISO files; has group and user management; supports up to RAID 6 and offers EXT3, EXT4 and ZFS file systems.
It's not as feature laden on the software front as QNAP's systems are, but it'll still be plenty for most, and some of the shortfall can be made up for by Thecus' module system, allowing the user to install extra features along the way, including TwonkyMedia's UPnP media server and a web server.
Performance and conclusion
Copying a large file across over SMB saw the N7700Pro deliver 86MB/s average write and 106MB/s average read speeds when configured to RAID 5 across seven 1TB disks — a good result, and the hefty processor and extra RAM should ensure it holds up in a multi-user environment too.
For price/performance Thecus still stands out, with the massive NAS going for around AU$1400 online. That's around AU$100 cheaper than, which has less RAM, a considerably weaker processor and only five drive bays. QNAP's nearest competitor, the may come with a considerably more powerful CPU and one extra drive bay, but this will set you back around AU$2700 currently.
It's not as simple as price though: QNAP offers better build quality, more features, a friendlier interface and the ability to stream content from your NAS to an iPhone.
Thecus has been left behind in the last year, with the likes of QNAP and Synology taking over at the bleeding edge. But if you don't mind a bit of a rough diamond and you're just after huge storage at a good price, Thecus offers the product to beat.