ZOTAC Announces ZBOX MI551 Skylake-Powered Mini PC

Zotac is pretty much the inventor of mini PCs as we know them and the ZBOX style is probably their most known series. The newest member of the ZBOX family is Skylake based and called the ZBOX  MI551.

The MI551 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-6400T quad-core processor that runs at a core speed of 2.2GHz and has a boost speed of up to 2.8GHz. The system allows for up to 16GB RAM to be installed in the two DDR3L-1600 SODIMM slots, so no DDR4 in this system.

The ZOTAC ZBOX MI551 uses the CPU built-in GPU in the form of an Intel HD Graphics 530 that supports the two DisplayPort connections for up to 4K UHD at 60Hz and the HDMI port with UHD resolutions at up to 24Hz in multi-screen mode and 60Hz with just one panel. So this tiny system is fully 4K ready.

Internally it has room for one 2.5-inch SATA SSD or HDD as well as one M.2 SATA SSD (42, 60, or 80mm length) and externally it features a combined card reader and USB 3.1 combo port for easy readout of memory cards.

Other than the previously mentioned connections you get stereo jacks for microphone and headphones, one USB 3.1 Type-C, two USB 3.0, one USB B2.0 and two Gigabit Ethernet connections. The MI551 also features a built-in 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless card with external antenna.

There is an optional Plus model available as there usually is with the ZBOX systems where you, in this case, get 4GB memory and a 120GB M.2 SATA SSD pre-installed for out-of-the-box usage.

VIA Introduces ARTiGO A600 Smart Automation Control System

Smart homes and general smart automation of all sorts of things is one of the wonderful things about the time we currently live in. All the things we (nerds and geeks) have dreamt of building for years is finally possible. VIA has now introduced a new control system that again could help make it a lot easier and smarter, the VIA ARTiGO A600 Smart Automation Control System.

The ultra-compact and fanless smart automation control system is specifically designed for enterprise IoT and M2M applications that require reliable low-power computing and extensive I/O support. The ARTiGO A600 comes with four integrated 3-pole Phoenix RS-485 COM ports with full 3.75KV isolation, a COM connector for an RS-232 port, and a DIO port for 8-bit GPIO to provide dependable connections to automated equipment and machinery.

Other I/O features include two Mini USB 2.0 ports, one Mini HDMI port, one 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, and one miniPCIe slot. The whole unit only measures 12.5cm x 12.5cm x 3cm and you can even add an optional Wi-Fi module through the onboard USB pin headers.

Inside the ARTiGO A600, you’ll find an 800MHz VIA Cortex-A9 SoC, an onboard Micro SD card slot, 4GB eMMC Flash memory, and 1GB DDR3 SDRAM.

“Smart automation control systems will play a pivotal role in boosting manufacturing productivity and enabling the development of innovative new product customization and personalization services,” said Richard Brown, Vice-President of International Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “By delivering extensive I/O connectivity in a highly-affordable low-power solution, the VIA ARTiGO A600 lowers the barriers to entry for enterprises planning to transform their operations by implementing the next generation of intelligent distributed manufacturing systems.”

Features:

  • Ultra-compact fanless smart automation control system
  • High-performance 800MHz VIA Cortex-A9 SoC
  • Four 3-pole Phoenix RS-485 ports with full 3.75KV isolation
  • Optional Wi-Fi support
  • Customized Linux BSP services

Synology DiskStation DS215+ 2-Bay NAS and All-In-One Server Review

Introduction


Last month I had the pleasure to take a look at the Synology DS715 [review here] 2-bay NAS and today I continue with Synology’s second recently released NAS, the Synology DiskStation DS215+.

The DS215+ is an all-in-one 2-bay NAS server that offers high performance while staying energy-efficient and providing a full set of business features. The dual-core CPU is powerful enough to handle multi-tasking applications and can help small and medium businesses to centralize their backups, protect critical assets, and share files quickly and efficiently – and that on a budget.

Inside the DiskStation DS215+, we find an Annapurna AL-212 dual core ARM processor with 1.4GHz with floating point unit and hardware encryption engine and 1GB DDR3 memory.

There are plenty of connection options on the DS215+ starting with the two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports that allow you to set all modes of failover and link aggregation, including IEEE 802.3ad. The unit has two USB 3.0 ports for external drives and other devices as well as an eSATA port. Readers familiar with my reviews will know that I love it when they add the eSATA port as it is my preferred method of attaching external storage as it doesn’t have the same latency as USB does.

The hardware encryption engine coupled with the other improvements allow this unit to deliver twice the performance over the predecessor when dealing with encrypted storage.

Synology’s drive trays in these units are awesome and allow for a speedy setup as well as maintenance. The screw and tool-less design is as simple to use as pulling the sides off, inserting the drive and putting them back on. The trays are also lockable which is another bonus. You don’t eject them by accident and no false friend runs off with your drives that easy.

The software part is well covered by Synology’s DiskStation Manager (DSM), an operating system that has won a lot of rewards, and all well deserved. It comes with most basic and used features as standard and you’ll most likely find what is missing there in the add-on section. DSM is real easy to use and has great multi-tasking support.

One of the great features of DSM is the File station, a fast and secure way for sharing and managing your files stored on the DS215+. It has built-in FTP and email clients and allows drag and drop of files from both Windows and Mac OS systems. Mobile systems can do the same with the DS file app. HTTPS, SSL/TLS encryption, and link expiry dates also ensure file sharing over the Internet stays secure.

The basic file sharing on your network isn’t any problem for the DS215+ either as it supports it all. SMB2, FTP, NFS, WbDAV, windows AD and LDAP – you’ll find it all. Network recycle bin is also available on both AFP and CIFS shares.

The DS215+ allows for seamless account integration thanks to the User Home feature that automatically creates user folders to minimize effort while the Windows ACL support allows admins to fine-tune access controls and set up privileges through a familiar interface.

This is truly an all-in-one server as it is labeled with everything it supports. From file storage and media streaming over Mail servers and VPN servers, the DS215+ lets you do it all. It can also work as a print server with your USB printers and share them over the network as well as act as DNS server, Directory Server, RADIUS Server, DHCP Server, and Log Center. All that in one tiny box.

With the support of Windows AD, LDAP, and Domain Trust, DS215+ enables seamless account integration. The User Home feature can automatically create a “home” folder for every user account to minimize the administrator’s effort in repeatedly creating “home” folders for all accounts. Windows ACL support on DS215+ allows IT administrators to fine-tune access controls and set up privileges to files and folders on DS215+ through the familiar Windows user interface. With compatibility for major protocols, DS215+ can eliminate server configuration overhead and enhance IT administrators’ efficiency.

 

Backup and storage works in many ways and one very useful is the personal cloud the DS215+ allows you to set up. The Cloud Station allows you to sync files between devices in online and offline mode. The Cloud Station can remember up to 32 historical versions, encrypts the traffic, and can also sync between different NAS stations as well as mobile devices.

Security isn’t just well covered in the Cloud Station and Drives with the AES 256-bit encryption, the DS215+ also supports Antivirus and basic network security. You can also enable two-step verification for your users.

All of Synology’s mobile apps work great with this device, may they be DS note, DS audio, DS video, DS photo+, DS cloud, DS file, DS download, and DS cam. Everything right at your fingertips and on your smartphone or tablet.

 

That is a lot of functionality and features in one little device and one that saves both the environment and your wallet thanks to the low power consumption. When the HDDs hibernate, the DS215+ consumes just about 9W and less than 21 W when accessed. Thinking small can pay off in the long run.

Synology Releases RS815 and DS1515 Value-Series 5-Bay NAS’

Synology launched two new NAS devices today and the first of them is the DS1515, a powerful and expandable 5-bay NAS for small and medium-sized businesses – or users who just want a little more than a normal SOHO device. It doesn’t just pack a quad-core processor, but also comes with four gigabit ethernet ports featuring failover and link aggregation for outstanding performance, it also features hardware-based encryption engine and blasting fast speeds.

“Growing SMBs expect a storage solution that is versatile and scalable for their future needs while minimising the initial investment. The DS1515 is engineered to address such needs, and provides the performance, reliability, and scalability to manage, protect, and share data,” said Jonathan Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc.

The DS1515 can achieve 421 MB/s writing and 403 MB/s reading when using a RAID 5 configuration in a Windows environment, and even with encryption turned on, it still performs impressive speeds of up to 296 MB/s reading and 150 MB/s writing. It also supports the SSD read/write cache support that will boost the throughput considerable while minimising the overall costs per gigabyte of storage. The two eSATA ports allow you to scale the DS1515 for up to 15 drives with the use of the DX513 expansion units, with 6TB drives that would be 90TB raw capacity.

The new Synology DiskStation DS1515 is shipping globally now and should be available in your area very shortly.

The second new NAS from Synology is the 19″ RackStation RS815, a scalable and compact 1U 4-bay NAS. The RS815 is very short with its 12″ depth, 37% shorter than its predecessor. It comes with a dual-core 1.33GHz MARVELL processor with floating point unit and 1GB RAM.

“More and more small businesses need a compact server that can handle a variety of workloads,” said Jonathan Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc. “With RS815, we want to demonstrate how uncompromising performance and functionality are achievable even within a small footprint.”

The MARVELL Armada XP MV78230 processor coupled with the dual Gigabit ethernet ports can provide great speeds that exceed 216MB/s read and 121MB/s write speeds. With failover and link aggregation you’re covered whether you want higher bandwidth or extra security and you can also extend this unit. The 19″ RX415 expansion unit connects through the eSATA port and provides another four drive bays.

The Synology RackStation RS815 is also shipping globally now and should arrive at your local reseller shortly.

Both new NAS devices are powered by the award-winning DiskStation Manager (DSM) that provides all the features and functionality you could want from a NAS. They also both come with USB 3.0 ports for easy and fast storage expansion as well as backup jobs.

QNAP Turbo Station TS-431 4-Bay SOHO NAS Review

Introduction


I loved what the QNAPs TS-x31 series sports right from the first time that I heard of it. It just sounded like the perfect SOHO device for people who want a lot of features, easy setup, simple maintenance and a reasonable price.

Today I’m taking a closer look at the QNAP TurboNAS TS-431 4-bay Personal Cloud Storage for Home and SOHO users. It features an ARM Cortex A9 1.2GHz dual-core processor that delivers performance enough for multitasking, creating your personal cloud for digital notes, and multimedia streaming via DLNA & AirPlay.

With the TS-431 you can build a private cloud-based notebook and share it with friends and colleagues with Notes Station and Qnotes mobile App. It allows you to easily organize and manage files and backup tasks in one centralized location and synchronize files between computers, laptops, tablets, phones and other devices. You can archive, manage, watch and share your media collections with the dedicated Photo Station, Video Station and Music Station apps as well as enjoy all these moments on the big screen via DLNA and AirPlay streaming.

That is all pretty much default for QNAP devices, just as the 24/7 surveillance center you can create for your home or small office. The CPU in the TS-431 also allows you to transcode videos offline and enjoy smooth video streaming even when your network connection or playback possibilities are restricted.

The Freescale ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core CPU runs at 1.2GHz and gives the NAS a great performance ratio. It can provide transfer speeds up to 110MB/s reading and 80MB/s at writing. Maybe you need to increase your data safety to prevent unauthorized access to the files, well QNAP has that covered too with full NAS volume encryption with speeds of over 30MB/s with AES-256 bit.

The network connectivity on this device is safeguarded with dual Gigabit LAN and support for the latest 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi adapters. It further features three USB 3.0 ports and one eSATA for attaching high-speed external storage. The LAN ports support multiple port-trunking modes, allowing you to set up link aggregation to increase data transmission capabilities, as well as failover and dual IP for continuous system operation. The supported port-trunking modes include: Balance-rr (Round-Robin), Active Backup, Balance XOR, Broadcast, IEEE 802.3ad, Balance-tlb (Adaptive Transmit Load Balancing) and Balance-alb (Adaptive Load Balancing).

QNAPs operating system is better than ever and it keeps improving. The ‘intelligent’ desktop allows you to find the desired functions quickly and it allows you to create shortcuts of your choice for even quicker access. You can monitor the NAS’ vitals, install new function or change in your user setup with just a few clicks. Automated backup function can be set to kick in as soon as recognized devices are connected, creating backups to and from your drives and NAS, this includes rsync, QNAP’s NetBack Replicator and works equally well with Windows and Mac OS X Time Machine systems.

The new myQNAPcloud allows you to setup your NAS even easier and quicker than before. Just connect and power on the NAS and go to the URL from the sticker either manually or by scanning the QR-Code. Enter the key (partially whitened in the above image) and you’ll have your NAS setup in a couple of minutes, ready to use. Thumbs up to QNAP, the system works like a charm. You will of course need a network where the NAS gets it IP automatically and an internet connection. Don’t worry if you don’t, the old-fashioned way to initialize it works just as well as it always has.

The cross-platform file-sharing covers all sides with SMB/CIFS, NFS, and AFP protocols for sharing across Windows, Mac and Linux/UNIX. Data, logs and ISO image of CDs and DVDs can be centrally stored in the TS-431 and protected by an integrated antivirus solution. You can even manage your files via the internet by use of the File Station. It brings conventional desktop styled file operation to web browsers, allowing you to easily upload, download and manage your files no matter where you are, as long as you got a connection via LAN or the internet. It even supports file extraction, smart search as well as sharing specific files with friends and family via unique URLs.

One of the key aspects of this device is the capabilities for your private cloud. I’ve mentioned some functions above, but most of all it gives you a lot more space without a monthly cost. It also eliminates security concerns you might have by using public cloud services. The TS-431 is ready to establish a secure and large-capacity private cloud just for you and the myQNAPcloud service allows remote access without any tricky setups and router configurations.

QNAP Releases New Compact TS-251C Turbo NAS

QNAP announced the release of the TS-251C Turbo NAS, a 2-bay compact NAS that is built around an Intel Celeron dual-core CPU and with a budget-friendly price tag. The TS-251 might be budget on the price, but it still comes with all the features you’d like for both Cloud services and home media centre. The TS-251C comes with features such as real-time/offline Full HD video transcoding for video streaming via DLNA, AirPlay, Chromecast and Plex Media Server, HDMI-out with XBMC media player, and all the usual apps and functions for cross-platform file storage, backup and sharing.

“The TS-251C is the ideal choice for users to quickly create a secure personal space for file storage, backup, synchronization, and multimedia,” said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. “It comes with a surprising price tag that offers an incredible choice for budget-concerned users that want the best possible performance.”

The use of the x86 architecture allows for a lot more application to be installed and run compared to ARM architectures and could be the perfect solution for the growing needs of digital content storage in modern small offices and home environments. The dual-core Intel Celeron 2.41GHz processor is backed by 1GB DDR3L RAM and can provide up to 112 MB/s read & write speeds, even with full NAS encryption setup.

If you don’t want to use the media streaming functions that it has, then you can connect it directly to a TV via the built-in HDMI port and use the included HD Station and XBMC app instead. This is great for older TVs with limited playback abilities and eliminates the need for an extra HTPC.

Key specifications

  • 2-bay tower model
  • Dual-core Intel® Celeron® 2.41 GHz processor
  • 1GB DDR3L RAM
  • 3.5” SATA HDD
  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Gigabit LAN port
  • HDMI output (v1.4a, 1080p)

The new QNAP TS-251C Turbo NAS is available now

Availability

The new TS-251C Turbo NAS is said to be available now, but couldn’t find it listed at any shop at the time of writing. No word on pricing either, except that it will be cheap.

Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information

QNAP Announces New Energy-Efficient TS-x31+ Turbo NAS Series

QNAP announced their newest line of NAS servers, this time in the energy-efficient end of the scale. The new TS-x31+ series Turbo NAS is designed for small and home offices and packs a dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 CPU with VFPv4 floating point unit and hardware accelerated encryption,

“For home & small businesses, a powerful, secure yet affordable cloud storage solution is becoming a key investment for improving everyday business workflow,” said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. “With the TS-x31+ series, users can build a cost-efficient private cloud with ensured security and comprehensive business applications.”

The new series has two models, a two and a four-bay unit. Both have the same features besides the difference in the amount of bays. Under the hood, you’ll find 1GB DDR3 RAM, SATA 6Gb/s ports, dual Gigabit LAN, and three USB 3.0 ports (1 front, 2 rear).

The devices have an outstanding transfer and multitasking performance of up to 200MB/s throughput and the enhanced hardware encryption engine provides transfer speeds of over 150 MB/s with AES-256 bit Full NAS Volume Encryption enabled.

The new TS-x31+ series Turbo NAS is scheduled to be available from February 2015 and has DLNA, AirPlay & Chromecast support just as well as all the other features your used to from QNAP systems.

Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information