Published on Friday, 25 November 2016 13:22
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Network attached storage servers may not be extremely popular everywhere in the world due to their somewhat specific target audience but sales numbers are going up and that not only gives manufacturers the incentives needed to keep producing new and more powerful models but it's also the reason as to why we've seen a few new players in the market recently. We've covered plenty of times the various usages NAS servers have so if you're looking for a multimedia server with plenty of horsepower to playback even 4k material to multiple devices or if you're just looking for a download or email server that can also double as a network video recorder for your IP cameras then a NAS server is not only the easiest way out (ready for use right from the factory) but also perhaps the lowest cost one (especially once you include things like software and electricity costs). QNAP recently enriched their already rich lines with the compact TBS-453A M.2 SSD NASbook and today we'll be taking a very close and thorough look.
QNAP Systems, Inc., as its brand promise "Quality Network Appliance Provider", aims to deliver comprehensive offerings of cutting edge network attached storage (NAS) and network video recorder (NVR) solutions featured with ease-of-use, robust operation, large storage capacity, and trustworthy reliability. QNAP integrates technologies and designs to bring forth quality products that effectively improve business efficiency on file sharing, virtualization applications, storage management and surveillance in the business environments, as well as enrich entertainment life for home users with the offering of a fun multimedia center experience. Headquartered in Taipei, QNAP delivers its solutions to the global market with nonstop innovation and passion.
NAS servers may be significantly smaller than most micro-ATX and mini-ITX cases but due to the fact that most models are designed for 3.5" drives (some do support only 2.5" ones) they are not what I’d call extremely compact and that's where the TBS-453A NASbook comes in. You see QNAP clearly designed the TBS-453A for people who may want to carry it around with them in job meetings and/or social gatherings so instead of using the quite heavier 3.5/2.5" drives they chose to go with M.2 SSDs (4 pre-installed at that - also available without any). Now at first i was very surprised (even excited) because we haven't seen anything similar to date but after a while i became quite skeptical since let's face it M.2 drives are not massively smaller than 2.5" ones and they cost quite a bit more in comparison. Now that wouldn't matter much really had QNAP used a 10GbE Ethernet port to take advantage of the very high performance offered by even a single M.2 SSD but they obviously didn't since quite frankly it will be quite a few more years before 10GbE makes it to mainstream. Still the TBS-453A does very good in terms of hardware specifications since it's powered by a 14nm Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core 1.6GHz processor (that can automatically burst up to 2.08GHz for CPU-intensive tasks) and features 8GB DDR3L-1600 SODIMM RAM, four M.2 2280 SATA 6Gb/s SSDs, 2 Gigabit RJ45 Ethernet ports, 3 Gigabit RJ45 Ethernet switch ports, two HDMI v2.0 ports (compatible with 4k playback), 4 USB 3.0 ports, USB 2.0 port, two 3.5mm microphone jacks (dynamic microphones only), Line Out audio jack, built-in speaker and a SD card reader. So although compact the TBS-453A NASbook seems to be ready for everything one can throw at it so let's take a closer look and see if that's really the case.