ASUSTOR Launches Entry-Level Quad-Core AS32 Series NAS

ASUSTOR announced the launch of two new economical entry-level multimedia NAS devices called the AS3202T and AS3204T. The difference between the two is the number of drives you can mount, either 2 or 4. The new AS32 Series is built around Intel’s latest Celeron 1.6GHz quad-core CPU that provides plenty of processing power for such units and they come with 2GB DDR3 dual-channel memory.

Besides being a great quad-core CPU for NAS usage, the systems also feature Intel’s AES-NI encryption instructions that allow the devices to support hardware encryption. This is something that gives a far better performance when dealing with encrypted drives than a software solution would.

The AS32 series also features a great graphics processing unit that allows you to use the NAS as a multimedia hub. You can connect the systems directly to a TV or monitor for direct playback without the use of other devices. Attach a keyboard and mouse or use an IR remote to stay in control of the system.

The ASUSTOR Portal App makes it easy and allows you to use the NAS to browse the web, change the configuration, use KODI and similar apps while the official ASUSTOR remote control completes the couch experience. Users can centrally store all of their digital multimedia on the NAS (photos, music, movies) and play it all back on demand, enjoying a comprehensive home multimedia experience.

The AS32 series doesn’t feature external drive bays, but still work with a toolless mounting system that allows you to easily install everything just by the use of thumbscrews. The exterior design uses the diamond pattern that we’ve seen before, for example on the AS1002T that we reviewed a little while ago.

“In order to provide better multimedia playback experience to consumers, we are launching the AS3202T and AS3204T tower model NAS devices which feature powerful performance,” said Johnny Chen, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “When compared to the 31 series devices of the previous generation, the 32 series devices provide even more powerful graphics processing capabilities which allow for sharper imaging and smoother playback for all high definition multimedia.”

External storage can be connected to the three USB 3.0 ports on the AS32 series. One is located on the front for easier access and the other two are on the back next to the Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port and the HDMI 1.4a port.

The NAS naturally come with ASUSTOR’s ADM operating system that’s both easy to use and setup. There is no need for complex installation and the devices can be setup with just a three steps. This makes it a great NAS for beginners as it’s budget friendly, easy to install, and still powerful.

Besides the default function, the functionality can be expanded with a large variety of add-on applications that can be installed directly from the built-in app central. There are mobile companion apps too for users that want to access their storage on the go and through the comfort of their smart devices.

Currently, ADM version 2.5.4 is the latest official version of the operating system, but the ADM 2.6 beta is available too and thereby we can expect the full version of this to be released soon too. The latest ADM 2.6 beta includes upgrades to ASUSTOR Portal web applications by increasing YouTube 1080p playback performance and support for a rich variety of streaming video sites such as Netflix, MetaCafe, US Stream, Vimeo, Youkou, Tudou and more.

Key Features for the AS3202T and AS3204T

  • Intel Celeron 1.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (Automatic Overclocking to 2.24GHz)
  • RAID 1 Read Speed of up to 112+MB/s and Write Speed of up to 110+ MB/s
  • 2GB Built-in Dual-Channel DDR3L High-Speed Memory
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet Port
  • Front of Device: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port
  • Back of Device: 2 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4b Port
  • Infrared Receiver
  • Supports RAID Volume Management Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1 (AS3202T)
  • Supports RAID Volume Management Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1/5/6/10 (AS3204T)
  • Supports Seamless System Migration
  • Supports Largest Capacity Hard Disks on the Market (8TB)
  • Supports Intel AES-NI Hardware Encryption Engine

Lian Li Announces PC-7N Classic Mid-Tower Chassis

Lian Li’s newly announced PC-7N chassis comes with a classic and minimalistic look on the outside, but quite a few improvements on the inside. The new PC-7N includes an improved and customizable storage rack for drives, tool-less building features, and great clearances in a lightweight chassis.

As a mid-tower chassis, the PC-7N can hold the most common sized ATX or mATX motherboards. Clearance is a factor in this chassis and you can easily mount CPU coolers with a height up to 170mm and graphics cards as long as 370mm without hard disk trays mounted in front of the card. With trays, you can still mount cards with a length up to 250mm.

Lian Li built the PC-7n with tool-less mounting options for easy installation. The chassis comes with four drive trays included which all are fitted with vibration-dampening rubber washers. Each of the trays can be installed in one of the eight available slots and they’ll be directly cooled by the two front intake fans. The drive trays are secured by a removable aluminum arm that in itself is secured by a thumbscrew. You can also add up to two 5.25-inch drives to this chassis and those trays also feature tool-less installation.

Cooling wise the PC-7N has the basic features and nothing out of the norm. You get two front intake 120mm fans and one rear 120mm exhaust fan. The front intake and the PSU area both have dust filters to help keep your system as clean on the inside as possible. There’s also basic water cooling support for those that wish a liquid cooled setup. The front allows for radiators with a size up to 140mm x 280mm x 60mm and the rear also features liquid cooling grommets.

There is plenty of space for the PSU due to the clean internal build which allows you to mount PSUs with a length of up to 270mm. That should be plenty for even the most powerful power supplies on the market. You also get eight expansion slots for easy setup with up to four dual-slot cards, and a front panel with audio and USB 3.0 ports.

The PC-7N is scheduled for an availability at the end of March and it will be available in two colours. The manufacturer suggested retail price is set to £84.90.

Feature Highlights

  • Customizable modular drive rack
  • Fits four 3.5” HDDs or 2.5” SSDs
  • Water cooling: up to 140mmx280mmx60mm on internal bracket
  • Removable front panel and mesh filter; two 120mm intake fans, one 120mm exhaust fan
  • Accommodates VGA cards up to 370mm long
  • Accommodates CPU coolers up to 170mm tall
  • Accommodates PSUs up to 270mm long
  • MSRP: £84.90
  • Availability: End of March

Icy Dock Announces ICYRaid MB662U3-2S USB 3.0 RAID Enclosure

Icy Dock announced the ICYRaid MB662U3-2S USB 3.0 drive enclosure that comes with built-in hardware RAID and thereby allows you to take your setup with you on the road where ever you go. When taking drives on the go, you also need to make sure that they stay safe, you wouldn’t want to damage your drives and thereby your data. The ICYRaid MB662U3-2S is built with heavy-duty aluminum to do just that while still keeping the weight down.

The ICYRaid MB662U3-2S allows you to set four modes, RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, and BIG. So, no matter if you need extra redundancy, extra speed, a larger volume, or just multiple drives: the ICYRaid MB662U3-2S can do it. The internal design has been created to allow your drives the best possible heat dissipation and it is aided by the rear-mounted 40mm fan.

The hardware RAID is already a big benefit as it reduces the load on the system compared to a software-based RAID setup. We’ve seen external RAID units before, but it is rarely seen that they also feature UASP support for better throughput; you will need to run Windows 8 or newer (or Mac OS X) to take advantage of this.

There are LEDs on the front that will show drive activity as well as errors or ejected drives. You can, however, disable those on the back of the drive if they should bother you. The full power switch is also a nice touch and it allows you to fully turn your drives off, even when it’s still connected to your system. Optionally, ICY DOCK also offers 2.5-inch adapters to mount smaller form factor hard disk drives and SSDs.

Key Feature:

  • Built-in hardware RAID controller allows four different configurations: RAID 0 (FAST), RAID 1 (SAFE), JBOD, & BIG.
  • Tool-Less design for easy hard drive upgrading or replacement.
  • Plug & Play SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface with UASP support.
  • Supports 2 x 3.5″ SATA I / II / III hard drives.
  • Supports the latest 8TB HDD per bay in all 4 RAID modes for up to 16TB of storage.
  • Front LED indicator light to monitor disk status in RAID.
  • Rear LED indicator light for RAID rebuilds status.
  • Designed for professional users in any industry.
  • The front & rear LED can be disabled when needed.
  • Solid aluminum body construction for portability, heat dissipation and extra protection.
  • Built in security slot for security cable kit.
  • Compatible with Mac OS X Time Machine.
  • Designed for both Mac and PC systems.
  • Limited 3-year warranty to complement the typical warranty of a hard drive.