QNAP SilentNAS HS-251+ 2-Bay Passive-Cooled NAS Review

Introduction


The first NAS that I reviewed after I joined eTeknix was QNAP’s amazing HS-251 NAS, so it is a real pleasure today as I have the upgraded model in the testing area. I will take QNAP’s SilentNAS HS-251+ for a thorough spin in my testing area and check on its performance as well as show you the latest version of the QTS operating system that was released recently.

The HS-251+ NAS retains the same basic design that provides you with a completely silent NAS. There are no fans or other parts that can generate any noise apart from the storage drives you’ll be using. This design adds another bonus which is a dust-free inside. This is made possible because the entire chassis is used as a heatsink for the entire unit and inserted drives. There are no fans to draw dust and other unwanted dirt into the system. That makes it very easy to maintain, but it also means that it should be placed on top of a shelve rather than in a tight spot where it could have trouble getting rid of the excess heat.

QNAP’s HS-251+ is powered by a quad-core Intel Celeron processor and while some might take a step back here, it’s a great chip for the system. You get four cores that run at 2.0GHz and with a burst speed up to 2.4GHz, it consumes very little power, which also helps with the cooling, and it has more than enough power to drive a system like this. The CPU is backed by 2GB DDR3L RAM and the NAS has a 512MB DOM for the basic system.

Whether you want to mount 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives, the HS-251+ can take both. We only got two bays at our disposal here, so most people will probably choose the larger 3.5-inch drives that provide up to 8TB capacity for consumers at the time of writing. Smaller 2.5-inch drives do however run more silently and it produces less heat, so it’s something that is worth to consider in a system like this. The drive bays themselves are hidden behind a removable front that further helps to keep dust out while it also gives the NAS a sleeker appearance.

Connection wise we find two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports next to the two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Sadly none of the ports are located on the front or front end of the sides, but it isn’t a big issue with a flat NAS like this. You can easily both reach and view behind the unit. The NAS supports both printer and storage sharing through the built-in USB ports and over the network, which is a thing that can make the household IT-setup a lot easier.

You can also expand the HS-251+ through the use of QNAPs expansion enclosures UX-800P and UX-500P with 8 and 5 drives respectively. This can provide you with up to 80TB raw storage capacity in the HS-251+ using 8TB drives.

Next to those more normal connections, the QNAP HS-251+ also has an HDMI port from which you can connect it directly to your TV and use it for media playback and even run other operating systems in a virtual environment directly from the NAS. The QNAP QvPC technology is awesome and I’ll be showing you some of those features on the following pages. The HDMI connectivity supports 1080p video playback and the NAS also comes with hardware transcoding capability, making the HS-251+ is an ideal companion at home for multimedia entertainment.

Included with the QNAP HS-251+ is also a remote control that makes the usage from the couch a lot easier, more convenient, and in a fashion one is used to from TVs, DVRs, CD players, etc. With this, it is easy to control the playback and navigate the menus without the hassle of a keyboard and mouse.

The newest QNAP operating system, QTS 4.2, brings an even smoother experience than the predecessors with its flat and modern design. QNAP have streamlined loading times and added an intelligent desktop and multi-window operation that makes controlling every aspect of your HS-251+ fully accessible and easy to use.

It’s easy to centralize your all your files and backups in one place with this NAS, as it allows you to create backup jobs to and from the NAS, sync with computers, tablets, and mobile devices as well as the cloud. The real-time and offline HD video transcoding allows smooth playback of all your files no matter what the connection is like and file formats that might not be supported.

You naturally also get all the other great features such as the headless 24/7 download center, surveillance station with up to 40 channels, official mobile apps for all key functions and management, app center with official and third-party apps to increase the functionality even more, alert functions via SMS and Email services, web server, FTP server, Radius server, VPN server, print server, Plex media server, and much more.

The QNAP HS-251+ also supports the Qsirch function that is a QNAP exclusive. It is one of the best search function available that will find anything that you’re looking for on your NAS with ease and a lot faster than any traditional method will. Simply type in as much as you know about what you are trying to find, including bits of the file name or even words/phrases in the document, and Qsirch will display a list of matches, complete with thumbnails, as you type.

Feature Highlights

  • Dual-core CPU with hardware encryption engine
  • Your personal cloud with centralized management, file storage, sharing and backup
  • Real-time & offline HD video transcoding for your mobile devices, PCs, and Smart TVs
  • Supports file synchronization between multiple devices to have most up-to-date files
  • Modern set-top design for your digital lifestyle
  • Storage is expandable through extra units

Packaging and Accessories

QNAP’s HS-251+ comes in a plain brown box with a sticker that shows us what is inside. We get all the details we need on the sticker itself, from hardware specifications to features, so it has everything it needs to have.

Next to the NAS itself, we find a Quick Installation guide, the remote control, a power adapter and power cable from the region where it has ben bought as well as two RJ45 LAN cables inside the box.

Thecus Announces N2810 2-Bay NAS with 4K Support

With the advances in storage capacity on our drives, more and more people realise that a 2-bay NAS actually is enough for most people. With 8TB drives, you can have up to 16TB raw capacity or 8TB in a mirrored RAID setup, which honestly is plenty for most people. And storage doesn’t even have to be expensive. For example, you can get the 8TB Seagate Archive HDD for just £157.02. With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at Thecus’ newest family member, the N2810 2-bay NAS that is equipped with the newest generation Braswell CPU, supports encryption, and also 4K playback and transcoding.

Thecus new N2810 is using the Intel Braswell N3050 dual-core processor that has a base clock speed of 1.6GHz and a burst speed up to 2.16GHz. It also comes equipped with 2GB DDR3 ram that allows you to run a lot more at once from this device than a lot of other ones. N2810 also supports AES-NI encryption engine for increased performance and enhanced security. The memory is expandable all the way up to 8GB, in case the included 2GB shouldn’t be enough for you. It should however easily be enough for plenty of multitasking and seamless 4K playback.

The NAS has plenty of connection options with three USB 3.0 ports for maximized transfer speeds on externally connected storage as well as two LAN ports that allow for 7 modes of link aggregation. The N2810 is also equipped with an HDMI port for local playback and supports USB devices, Apple TV, and Chromecast. More traditional media apps such as Kodi (formerly known as XMBC) and Plex further increase the rich multimedia offering.

Thecus bundles both Intel Security and Acronis backup solutions with the N2810 to give an even bigger peace of mind when it comes to the security of your files as well as the device itself. Should local security and backup not be enough, then the N2810 also supports DropBox, Amazon S3, and ElephantDrive. There is also an app store with over 700 free apps and user profiles for Thecus OS 7.0.

The drive trays are lockable to prevent accidental ejection as well as keep people with long fingers away from your drives. The front USB 3.0 port comes with a one-touch copy button for easy backups to and from external drives.

“The N2810 steps up to the challenges that 4K playback creates and provides a robust hardware platform that is able to handle multiple tasks with ease,” said Florence Shih, CEO at Thecus Technology Corp. “With the recent development of our newest operating system, ThecusOS 7.0, we are elated to announce that the N2810 will be the first Thecus NAS to be released with the new software.”

The new Thecus N2810 NAS will begin shipping globally in February. Since we now know that the N2810 will ship in February and come with the brand new Thecus OS 7.0, we know also have a time frame on the OS and can expect it to be rolled out to other Thecus NAS around the same time or shortly after.

Amazon India Lists Nexus 5X Specifications Before Official Announcement

Amazon India has mistakenly listed the Nexus 5X prior to Google’s official announcement and provides key information about the handset’s technical capabilities. According to the store page, the Nexus 5X features a 5.2-inch full HD display with a pixel density of 423ppi. Additionally, the device utilizes a Snapdragon 808 processor running at 1.8GHz with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. The main rear camera is 12.3 megapixels while the front shooter is a respectable 5 megapixel sensor. Apparently, the handset supports LTE connectivity and integrates a 2700 mAh battery.

The product page also includes information about the various colour options. In total, the Nexus 5X comes in Charcoal Black, Quartz White and Ice Blue. Amazon India displayed the weight at 177g and dimensions of 15.4 x 1 x 7.6cm. Unfortunately, the listing has now been removed and it’s unknown if these specifications are genuine. It does seem a little contradictory though as the weight is heavier than much larger 5.5-inch handsets. Although, I think the core specification is about spot-on and I’m interested to see if there’s any expansion slot for additional storage.

Another issue appears to be the rather mediocre battery. If the listing is true, then I highly doubt the handset will offer the kind of battery life people expect from the Nexus product line. However, this could be a more budget-orientated model.

Thank you AndroidCentral for providing us with this information. 

Synology Announces RackStation RS2416+ and RS2416RP+ NAS

Synology unveiled their newest rackmounted NAS dubbed the RS2416+ and RS2416RP+ that features a redundant PSU. The 12-bay NAS can easily be expanded on the fly for up to 24 drives and should bring a good performance thanks to great hardware.

The Synology RS2416+ is equipped with a quad-core Atom C2538 CPU and comes with built-in AES-NI hardware encryption engine, and 2GB RAM that is expandable up to 6GB. The NAS comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports that support failover and Link Aggregation as well as two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports.

The RS2416+ supports the Btrfs file system and offers metadata mirroring and checksums that guarantee a higher level of data availability and survivability. Snapshots can be automatically captured as frequently as every five minutes, allowing businesses to go back in time and recover previous versions of files and folders. You can set it to retain up to 256 daily, weekly, or monthly snapshots when equipped with expanded memory.

 

“Small- and medium-sized enterprises need a storage solution that grows with them, while also ensuring past documents, records, and other important data are protected against human error or unforeseen hardware errors. With advanced data protection and integrity mechanisms, the new RS2416+/RS2416RP+ provides the ideal choice for storing a business’ crucial data,” said Michael Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc.

Both the RS2416+ and the RS2416RP+ with redundant PSU are now shipping globally. The MSRP for the RS2416+ is set to £1290 inc VAT and €1380 before taxes. The RS2416RP+ UK MSRP is £1620 inc VAT and €1825 before taxes.

Commodore Is Back and Targeting the Smartphone Market With New Android Phone

For those of you too young to know who Commodore is, you should know that it was a big tech company back in the ’80s who went into the Guinness record for selling thousands of Commodore 64 desktop units daily. The craze for the Commodore 64 was so big that it was named ‘the single biggest-selling computer ever’, selling around 17 millions worldwide.

But enough about what the company did in the past, let us focus on the present and the future. If you thought Commodore’s days are over, think again! There have been a bit of confusion when Commodore Amiga, a potential Apple Mac Mini rival, was announced back in 2012, but we haven’t heard anything about it since then and it also seems the Commodore USA website which delivered the latter information went offline.

However, the latest news from Commodore is that the company seems to shift its focus on the smartphone market. Besides the Commodore 64, their first desktop computer was named Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor). Well, their first ever smartphone bears the same name, so say hello to Commodore’s new PET smartphone!

The new, improved and ‘miniaturized’ version of the PET seems to be running on Android 5.0 and features a 5.5-inch IPS 1920 x 1080 resolution display. In terms of performance, it comes with a Mediatek 64-bit Octa-Core CPU clocked at 1.7 GHz and features the ARM Mali T760 GPU. Even the battery seems promising, coming with a huge 3,000 mAh pack.

Other features consist of a 13-megapixel back camera made by Sony, with a f/2.0 aperture, being able to snap pictures at a resolution of up to 4096×2304 pixels and record 1080p HD videos. There is also a 8-megapixel front camera with an 80° wide-angle, which can also be triggered by the side shutter button. You won’t be disappointed in terms of connectivity either, having the handset come with dual-sim support, 4G LTE compatibility.

To bring forth the nostalgia of old times, Commodore said to have built in a VICE C64 emulator and the Uae4All2-SDL Amiga emulator and is working with some software developers to port its old ’80 Commodore games to the latest PET handset. So now that some, if not all of you are excited about the information, let’s move on to the most important bit… when will we see it on the market? You’ll be more hyped by that information.

The Commodore PET is said to launch later this week in two versions. The ‘light’ version is said to feature 2GB of RAM, 16 GB storage and be priced at around $300, while a higher-end version will be featuring 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage and a price tag of $365. In terms of storage space, you should know that the handset is said to already be fitted with a 32GB microSD card, but information states it can support microSD cards of up to 64GB. So, this means you can get your very one portable Commodore PET with a total of either 80 or 96 GB, depending on what model you fancy.

The initial launch will be in Europe with the first countries to see the handset named to be Italy, France, Germany, and Poland, but more are bound to be added to the list in the near future. Given the old Commodore fans are still out there, demands for the new PET smartphone is likely to build up really quick. Will you order one? Let us know!

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of linuxzone.es

Synology DiskStation DS715 2-Bay Value NAS Review

Introduction


It has been a while since I had the pleasure to review a Synology NAS which makes it even more of a pleasure to take the brand new Synology DiskStation DS715 2-bay NAS for a spin. And while it does look ordinary on the first glance, I can tell you it isn’t.

The DS715 is an expandable NAS server, equipped with a powerful quad-core processor with hardware encryption engine and the ability to expand up to 7 drives thanks to the optional expansion unit. You can’t just expand it with extra bays, you can also connect it with Synology’s High Availability (SHA) technology that combines active and passive servers into one cluster.

The DS715 looks to be a perfect balance between performance, features, and value – so let us take a closer look at it.

The Synology DS715 is built around the Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314 quad-core processor with 1.4GHz. We’ve previously seen a great performance from just this chip in the DS1515 NAS. The CPU has both hardware encryption engine and floating point unit.

The DS715 comes with 2GB DDR3 memory and the drive bays support hot swapping as it has to be. The unit is rated for 16TB raw capacity on its own, but that limitation only exists based on the drives currently available. Nothing should block you from using 10TB or bigger drives ones they become available.

If that still isn’t enough for you, then you’ll just expand the NAS with the DX513 five-bay expansion unit. It gives additional storage on the fly while being supported as if they were internal drives. You can easily expand your overall raw capacity to 56TB with 8TB drives.

The two Gigabit Ethernet ports ensure the connectivity to your network. You can set seven modes of failover and link aggregation depending on your switching setup and need for redundancy and increased throughput. 802.3ad dynamic setup is just one of the available, but probably the most important of the modes.

The addition of an eSATA port is something I love to see and it is my personal preferred method of connecting external storage. It is also the method of connecting the aforementioned DX513 expansion unit. The two USB 3.0 ports allows you to connect other storage drives, printers, or cameras.

The drive trays are tool and screwless, at least for 3.5-inch drives. If you wish to use the NAS with 2.5-inch drives, then you’ll need the included screws to mount them. Otherwise you just pull off the sides on the tray, place the hard disk inside and put them back. All done. Slide the trays back into your NAS and get started. Plug and Play.

Synology’s operating system is called DiskStationa Manager (DSM) and it is now in version 5.2. It is a really robust system that is easy to use and one that brings plenty of features. It also has built-in NVR server, capable of hosting up to 30 IP cameras (900 FPS @ 720p). Two camera licenses are included and more will have to be purchased separately.

Windows AD, LDAP, and Domain Trust allow for seamless account integration with the rest of your equipment and also feature user home folders and Windows ACL. It doesn’t really matter how you want to connect it, you can.

The DS715 also comes with support for Synology Central Management System (CMS). CMS offers both flexibility and convenience for administrators, allowing them to manage all systems from a single point.

File sharing works with all major system, may it be Linux, Windows, or Mac OS. Included protocols are FTP, SMB2, AFP, NFS and WebDAV among others.

The Cloud Station allows for easy backup from all your system to the DS715 NAS and it also supports Rsync, backup to external drives, other NAS devices, or public cloud offerings.

A minor thing, but one that I love, is that Synology included two RJ45 LAN cables with this unit. An LAN cable doesn’t cost much and it is really annoying to get a unit as cool as this and then have to head out again to get an LAN cable so you can setup your link aggregation. Not so here, everything you need to get started, except the hard drives, is included.

Bluboo X550 Smartphone Features 5300 mAh Battery

If you were looking for a decent Android Lollipop phone that boasts a big battery to last your through the day, you might consider waiting another week. Why? A new Android-powered smartphone with a massive 5300 mAh battery is set to launch and it looks impressive!

Meet Bluboo X550, a mid-range Android Lollipop-powered phone that aims at keeping you online throughout the day. The phone is made by a small Chinese company and set to launch next week, on May 19th. The best part about it? It is available worldwide.

Bluboo X550 is said to run the latest 5.1 Lollipop version and in terms of spec, it comes with a 720p 5.5-inch screen, a MediaTek MTK6735 CPU, 2 GB Ram, 16 GB storage and an option between a 13-megapixel or 8-megapixel rear camera. For those of you who want to switch to a 4G ready phone, it is worth mentioning that the Bluboo X550 also comes with LTE support.

If you want to get the Bluboo X550 as cheap as you can, then you have to hurry. The company said that it will sell the X550 for just $149.99 between May 19th and June 4th. After that, the phone’s price will go up to $159.99 from June 5th ’till July 4th and settle at a price tag of $169.99 after the latter date.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Phonearena

ASUSTOR AS5102T 2-Bay Enthusiast NAS Review

Introduction


I was pretty excited when I heard that the ASUSTOR AS5102T 2-bay NAS was on the way for a spin on my test bench. I’ve seen, heard and read a lot about ASUSTOR and their features but never had the pleasure of a hands-on experience. This has changed from today and I’ll be giving this unit a thorough lookover and testing.

The AS5102T is categorized as an NAS for power-users to businesses, and I had no doubt about that from the moment I took it out of the box. The NAS is relative heavy for its size and it’s a result of the absolute awesome build-quality. The AS5102T is powered by an Intel Celeron 2.0 GHz quad-core processor which combines with a rich variety of multimedia output functionality to give you an optimal choice for both work and play.

The unit is built around an Intel Celeron 2.0GHz quad-core CPU with a burst speed up to 2.41GHz. The 2GB SO-DIMM DDR3L memory can be expanded to a maximum of 8GB in two modules, it can take two 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch SSDs or HDDs of your choice and supports hot-swapping as well as easy migration to a new ASUSTOR NAS if this one ever should become too small. There is plenty of connection options with three USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two eSATA ports. One of the USB 3.0 ports is located at the front ‘inside’ the backup button for the same. A simple press of the key and the NAS will start to sync the drive with the specified location-based on your settings.sata, two gigabit ethernet ports,

The two Gigabit Ethernet ports support every possible setup from link aggregation to fail-over and dual-IP setups. The choice is yours. Another amazing feature is the direct output via HDMI 1.4a and S/PDIF. This allows you to connect the NAS directly to your TV, monitor, or audio system. No need for a dedicated HTPC. You can control it via a web interface, smartphone apps, or directly by attaching a keyboard and mouse to the unit. A true multimedia hub for all your photos, music and movies.

As mentioned above, you can control the AS5102T in multiple ways, but ASUSTOR adds one more to the list. They’ve also added an infrared receiver to the NAS and you can get this awesome little remote for it that works with the AS-6, AS-3, AS-2TE, AS50, AS51, and AS70 series. This is awesome, you can truly kickback and play all the media from your NAS in a convenient way.

With the newest version of KODI that was released just a few days prior to this review going live you’ll even be able to control the NAS and KODI with your normal TV remote. There are however two things you need for this to work, a TV that supports CEC function and an extra USB to CEC Adapter. But then it’s just plug-and-play assuming the TV has the CEC function turned on. Your ASUSTOR NAS is now fully integrated into your existing multimedia setup, awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV9OfBZVuyo

ASUSTOR also made sure that the unit is as eco-friendly and economical as possible. The system will only draw 17.7W in an average configuration compared to the 100-350W a PC easily can draw. The system will automatically enter sleep mode (Schedule S3) when needed and supports auto-standby for both internal and external disks. The 70mm fan is controlled by the system and only spins as fast as it is needed and I didn’t notice it at all during my time with the unit. You can also set your own custom power schedule with on, off, restart and sleep settings.

A really awesome feature that I didn’t expect to find was not only the LED Night Mode, but also that you’re able to customize what LEDs are turned on and off as well as how bright they should shine. The Night mode can be automatic or you can set your own schedule. The more I dive into the depth of this unit, the more I get impressed by it.

I previously mentioned that the unit felt heavy when I unpacked it and that is because it’s a full metal unit, well aside from the front panel and rubber feet, of course. The NAS features an aluminium casing along with a rust and corrosion resistant coating which combines with the metallic hard disk trays to fully make use of the natural cooling properties of metal. This significantly enhances the entire cooling ability of the system and it’s far superior for the job than plastic units who need bigger fans running at higher speeds to keep cool.

 

The full metal drive trays feature both a locking mechanism to prevent accidental ejection during operation as well as someone taking a drive with him when walking past the unit. Each tray has two LEDs directly built and the locking mechanism when you plug the trays into the unit is simply superb. Same goes when ejecting a drive again, it pops and slides out without a noise or any resistance. It just fits.

A premium device also needs a premium accessories bundle, and the AS5102T has that too. ASUSTOR was so kind to provide us with a remote as part of our NAS, but you’ll have to purchase that seperately if you wish to use a more traditional control of the built-in media player. They NAS also comes with two LAN cables so you instantly can take full advantage of both ports. While other NAS devices provide multiple LAN ports at times, they rarely come with more than one cable. It’s a nice touch from ASUSTOR to include one for each port.

The AS5102T has a tiny footprint with only 10.8cm width, 23cm depth, and 16.35cm height. It weighs about 2kg due to the use of superior metals over plastic and the generally great build quality.

 

ASUSTOR has a long list of apps ready for your mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, among them AiData, AiRemote, AiVides, AiDownload, AiMusic, AiFoto, AiSecure, and AiMaster. Everything looks to be covered with just the right app for each occasion.

ASUSTOR has one more amazing function that I’d like to tell a bit about before we move on and take a closer look at the device itself. The MyArchive function allows you to use hard disks as removable storage archives. Plug in an archive when you need it and swap it out for another one when it isn’t needed anymore, or just to cut on the power consumption. It’s as easy as plug and play and works by keeping any OS related files off the drives.

There is a limited amount of drive bays reserved for this function and in the case of the AS5102T it is one. Larger models allow for two bays to be used for the MyArchieve function. The lazy person can even buy additional disk trays to eliminate the need for screwing when replacing drives this way. This is also a very cost effective way of storing a lot of data, especially when we look at the Seagate Archive HDDs. The 8TB variant costs less than a 6TB WD NAS drive as we use in our tests, and that is an offer that is hard to resist. But keep in mind that these drives are heavily optimized for reading and will have bad writing performance compared to NAS drives.

While AiRemote and AiDownload will be some of the most used tools, the AiMaster is the one worth highlighting. Not only will it allow you to initialize your new NAS from your mobile device, it also allows you to generate the entire setup, change and modify it at any time anywhere. All you need is a networked connection to your NAS. We’ll take a closer look at just this aspect a bit later in the review.

Thecus W4000 4-Bay WSS 2012 R2 NAS Review

Introduction


Most NAS devices we look at are based on some Linux or BSD distribution, but once in a while something different comes along. I’m excited to take a look at the new Thecus W4000 four-bay NAS server today, powered with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials (WSS).

Thecus are the first to bring WSS 2012 R2 to NAS users as you might remember from our press coverage back in October. The use of a WSS system offers a host of benefits to SMB users, including data protection, integrated cloud services and secure remote access.

The integration of an NAS into Microsoft’s cloud-based applications and services, including Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, has never been as easy before as with these new devices. The WSS NAS offerings look like they will provide users with an affordable and flexible solution with enough performance for SOHO and SMB environments.

The Thecus W4000 is based on a dual-core Intel Atom running at 2.13Ghz and it has 2GB of DDR3 RAM. The memory sadly isn’t as easy to upgrade as in some of Thecus other devices, but it is possible due to the use of standard sized SO-DIMMs.

There is plenty of connectivity options on the W4000 with two USB 3.0 ports on the front and two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA, dual Gigabit Ethernet, a line-out, a D-Sub VGA, and a HDMI port on the back; if that shouldn’t be enough, the W4000 also has a PCIe x1 slot for add-on cards.

The features don’t stop there, as it also comes with an embedded SSD as boot drive and offers data deduplication for performance optimization, built-in automated client backup, Bitlocker drive encryption, and native NTFS support as well as online scan and repair.

Thecus have created a great looking devices with the W4000, no doubt. It looks like a NAS should, simple, yet it features a lot of minor curves and design options that break the monotonous a bit. Adding the USB 3.0 ports on the front is a smart move as it’s likely those that will be used most as ports for temporary connections while more permanent devices are connected via the rear connections.

The tower features horizontal mounted drive bays, which I believe to be better for the hard drives over time. At the top, we see the space for the OLED display and its four control buttons and on the side it has the iconized LEDs for connectivity and activity.

Thecus also added an unmentioned feature to the motherboard, an mSATA slot. It is located at the top of the motherboard and easily accessible without the need to take everything apart. The use of a standard SSD further allows you to upgrade or change drive depending on your personal needs.

Toshiba Introduced Encore 2 Write Tablets with Precision Pen

Toshiba announced the new Encore 2 Write tablets with a pressure sensitive pen and ultra-responsive screen for a more paper-like precision. The tablets are powered by Windows 8.1 and the pens are made with Wacom’s latest feel pen technologies.

“Whether you’re a compulsive scribbler, sketch artist or simply prefer handwriting notes in meetings, this tablet features technologies that make writing on screen feel more natural than ever. And because it’s a Windows tablet, it’s compatible with your favorite Office programs and apps, so you can get going right out of the box,” said Philip Osako, senior director of product marketing, Toshiba America

The 8-inch and 10.1-inch tablets are powered by a Intel Atom quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Network is covered by dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and support for wireless display right out of the box. The bigger model also has a micro HDMI port for direct connection.

The tablets offer up to an 11-hour battery life for general usage and up to 8 hours of video playback. The built in stereo speakers support Dolby Digital Plus, so several movies in a row shouldn’t be a problem. It also has GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and e-compass, a micro USB 2.0 port for power, sync and sharing, and supports microSD cards up to 128GB.

 

Toshiba’s TruPen that is included, is a “pro-grade” pen with a fine tip and 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. This enables sharp strokes while minimizing lag for greater precision and accuracy. It is said to “virtually feels as natural as writing on paper”.

You’ll also get a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal and with unlimited storage through OneDrive. It also comes with a couple Toshiba apps for better photo capturing, recording meetings and taking notes.

The Encore 2 Write tablets should be available for purchase now at select retailers, including Microsoft Stores and on toshiba.com/us. The 10.1-inch Encore 2 Write is priced at $399.99 and the 8-inch model is priced at $349.99 MSRP.

Thanks to Toshiba for providing us with this information

Asustor Announces AS7004T 4-Bay HTNAS

Asustor is in the progress of launching their newest NAS models across the entire range and today they’ve introduced the newest member to the AS70T series, the AS7004T NAS. This high-capacity NAS is designed for the prosumer as Asustor calls them, those consumers who want just the best; this is also the most compact model in the AS70T series.

The AS7004T is a tower based model with 4 HDD bays and a storage capacity of up to 24TB with 6TB drives. It supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10 with hot swapping and further expansion via the two eSATA ports. It is powered by an Intel Core i3-4330 3.5GHz dual-core processor and has 2GB SO-DIMM RAM. The memory can be expanded up to 16GB.

Asustor is also following the trend of adding direct multimedia support to their NAS devices. The hardware inside is powerful enough to handle this and the new AS7004T can even handle HDMI output 4K support and also has an HD 5.1 and 7.1 channel audio feature for the best sound.

With speeds up to and over 112MB/s, the AS7004T ensures speedy file transfer to the two Gigabit Ethernet ports. USB devices can be attached to the NAS by the two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports on the back as well as the one USB 3.0 port on the front.

Asustor has designed a great cooling system for these units that feature a single extra-large fan and a dedicated heat pipe system, effectively cooling all parts including the drive drays. The fan is controlled by the ADM smart fan control mechanism to provide the most silent operation possible.

The AS7004T comes built-in with the latest ADM 2.3 (ASUSTOR Data Master) operating system which features newly refreshed graphics and a significantly smoother browsing experience. ADM’s support for Windows AD and ACL permissions allows for efficient management and quick integration into business environments. Furthermore, support for SMB 2.0 increases Windows networking performance by 30%-50%. With regards to multimedia, users can install the latest version of the XBMC multimedia player (XBMC 13) from App Central to enjoy ultra high-resolution 4K and 10-bit movies.

Key Features for the AS7004T

  • Intel Core i3-4330 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM (Expandable to 16GB)
  • 3 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 Gb/s) Ports
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Ports & 2 x eSATA Ports
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4a Ports
  • 1 x S/PDIF Port
  • LCD Display (That nicely tells you to Enjoy Your Life)
  • Infrared Receiver
  • Supported Volume Types: Single Disk, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10
  • Supports Hard Disk Hot Swapping and Online RAID Migration
  • Maximum Supported Capacity of Hard Disks: 24TB
  • Disk Tray Locks

Thanks to Asustor for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Asustor

World’s First Chrome OS All-in-One Revealed By LG

LG Electronics has become the first company to announce an all-in-one PC based on Google’s Chrome OS cloud-powered operating system, a platform more normally associated with ultra-portable laptops.

Based on Linux, Chrome OS eschews the traditional computing paradigm in favour of turning the Chrome browser into the primary user interface. Applications are rarely installed locally, with the user instead being pointed to web-based apps which make heavy use of the browser’s HTML5 and JavaScript support. The downside, for users who didn’t pay extra for a Chromebook with in-built mobile broadband at least, is that the device loses a great deal of its feature set when disconnected from the internet.

Disconnections may be frequent for road warriors, but less so for those who do the majority of their computing at home. It’s in this typically permanently connected environment that LG hopes to push Chrome OS as a real alternative to the like of Microsoft Windows. Step one: the world’s first Chrome OS all-in-one desktop PC, the Chromebase.

Looking for all the world like a slightly bulky monitor, and owing an undeniable debt of gratitude to Apple’s curved iMac design, the Chromebase packs a Haswell-based Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of local storage – the bulk storage of files being offloaded to the Google Drive cloud platform – and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing webcam with support for 720p video capture. The front, meanwhile, is dominated by the Chromebase’s 21.5″ 1,920×1080 in-plane switching (IPS) liquid-crystal display panel. The sides and rear include a single USB 3.0 port, three USB 2.0 ports, analogue audio connectivity to supplement the on-board speakers, an Ethernet connection and – interestingly – a HDMI input, allowing the device to double as a monitor for an external system.

‘Simple to operate for all types of users, the award-winning LG Chromebase computer represents the successful combination of simplicity, power and great design,’ claimed Hyoung-sei Park, head of the IT Business Division at LG Electronics. ‘LG Chromebase is the wave of the future for desktops, [and is] expected to be widely adopted not only at home, but especially in schools, hotels, call centres and other business settings.’

Pricing for the LG Chromebase has yet to be confirmed, with the company expected to make a more detailed announcement at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month.

Thank you Bit-Tech for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Bit-Tech

VTX3D Rolls Out R9 270 X-Edition with Dual Fan Cooling Design

VTX3D launched its own design edition of R9 series, the VTX3D R9 270 X-Edition. The new R9 270 X-Edition is packed with dual fan cooling design and quality power kit, delivering exceptional performance and ultimate gaming experience.

The R9 270 X-Edition has 930 MHz core speed, 30 MHz higher than reference design and can reach to 955 MHz with boost, offering a great deal of gaming performance. The new model is fitted with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory connected via 256 bit memory interface, delivering the astonishing and breathtaking gaming experience to the enthusiasts.

The R9 270 X-Edition is packed with quality power kit, which includes Multi Phase Design, Ferrite Core Choke, PowerPAK SO-8 and Solid Capacitor, enhancing the stability at overclocked model. What is more, the new model has equipped with dual fan cooling design, which uses dual 80mm fans, 3 pieces of U-shape copper heat pipes and wide range of unique aluminum fin, successful reduction of operating temperature and maintain quiet operating environment.

Features:

  • Video Memory: 2GB GDDR5
  • Memory Interface: 256bit
  • DirectX® Support: 11.2
  • Bus Standard: PCI Express 3.0
  • Core Speed: 930MHz (955MHz Boost)
  • Memory Speed: 1400MHz(5.6Gbps)
  • DVI Output: DL-DVI-I
  • HDMI Support: Yes
  • DisplayPort Support: Yes
  • Minimum System Power Requirement: 500W

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of VTX3D

Secondary Processor And 2Gb RAM Discovered In PlayStation 4

The Playstation 4 console’s internals have been disassembled and inside it has been revealed that several hidden components including a secondary low power processor and 2Gb of DDR3 SDRAM are present. The 2Gb (Gigabit) of memory means that the PS4 has 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM ram. The secondary processor is named “SCEI CXD90025G”, but the exact uses aren’t known right now.

The SCEI CXD90025G is a lower power ARM solution, that is likely used in a variety of tasks including background downloading and also downloading / standby type of tasks. It’s also possible that it will be handling DRM (Digital Rights Management) by using the Microsoft Playready DRM solution. There is also some speculation that the extra resources of the PS4′s secondary processor can be used for other things. including the 15 minute gameplay loop, which is possibly 720P and with H.264 compression.

Another possibility is that it will be used to reduce access time on the hard disk. Because the Playstation 4 was designed to minimize time for game updates and the resuming of gameplay, the secondary processor and memory are likely there to help with saving and resuming state, using them to capture an image of the console before shutting down and resuming from where it was left off when powered back on. Another likely use is that it will help be the systems south bridge.

The secondary ARM processor and Ram will only be used to free up resources from the CPU and provide a low energy alternative to the AMD Jaguar SoC. The Jaguar has 8 cores running at 1.6GHz, the SoC also includes the systems GPU which is a heavily modified AMD Radeon GCN architecture processor, and along with the PS4′s 8GB of GDDR5 will take care of your games.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDgicSBu-As[/youtube]

Thank you RedGamingTech for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of RedGamingTech

AMD Unveils The FirePro S10000 12GB Edition GPU Accelerator

AMD announced the new FirePro S10000 12GB Edition graphics card, designed for big data high-performance computing workloads for single precision and double precision performance. The new accelerator is the first in the industry to come with 12GB of onboard memory.

“Our compute application customers asked for a solution that offers increased memory to support larger data sets as they create new products and services. In response, we are announcing the AMD FirePro S10000 12GB Edition graphics card to meet that additional memory demand with support for OpenCL and high-end compute and graphics technologies,” said David Cummings, senior director and general manager of professional graphics at AMD.

AMD FirePro S10000 12GB server graphics card is based on two Tahiti graphics processing units with 12GB of GDDR5 memory with ECC and outputs 5.91 TFLOPS of peak single-precision and 1.48 TFLOPS of double-precision floating-point performance. The board features ECC memory and DirectGMA support allowing developers working with large models and assemblies to take advantage of the massively parallel processing capabilities of AMD GPUs based on the latest AMD Graphics core next architecture.

The AMD FirePro S10000 12GB Edition graphics card is a compelling solution for a variety of scenarios and markets, including finance, oil and gas, computer aided engineering, genetic sequencing, computational fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, numeral analytics, reservoir simulation, seismic processing, molecular dynamics, satellite imaging, explicit crash test simulation and so on.

Thank you XbitLabs for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of XbitLabs

101 XS 2 Tablet Announced By Archos

Achos has announced the latest tablet in its Gen 11 range, the Archos 101 XS 2. Based on a 10.1-inch screen having a 1280 x 800 resolution, the tablet features front-facing speakers and Archos’ “Coverboard” keyboard cover, which more specifically is a magnetic keyboard that clips onto the device. In terms of specs, the Archos 101 XS 2 is powered by an 1.6 GHz Quad-Core CPU, having no less than 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The tablet also runs on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean Operating System and comes with the full complement of Google apps.

Archos has also bundled OfficeSuite Pro 6 for MS Office document support, along with its own suite of media center apps for movie and TV show playback. The tablet is due to arrive in the UK this December, priced at £249.99 and can be found at Archos’ own web store.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Archos

Android Powered Game Console Announced by Mad Catz in December

Mad Catz Interactive has started its claim in the microconsole market, with a release date and price for its M.O.J.O. console, an Android OS console that will release on December 10 and can now be pre-ordered for $250 ( £155 ).

If you’re wondering about that high price tag, it’s due to the device’s high-end hardware — the M.O.J.O. includes an Nvidia Tegra 4 T40S 1.8GHz Processor, 2GB of RAM, and HDMI out capabilities with full 1080p resolution.

Mad Catz is positioning its microconsole as a more hardcore way for players to bring their favorite mobile games to the living room TV, and one of its main selling points is that it’s totally open to developers — the Amazon AppStore and Google Play store will both be available directly through the console. Notably, you’re also able to plug a mouse into the console — or you can use the controller’s left analog stick to console a mouse pointer on the screen.


Although Mad Catz hasn’t yet talked in-depth about it, there is mention of the console being able to play PC games as well. All signs point to the same sort of technology found in the Nvidia Shield, such that the M.O.J.O. will be able to stream PC games directly from another PC device to your TV. There are, rather strangely, no solid details regarding this functionality.

Thank you Gamasutra and NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Gamasutra and NextPowerUp.