We like a little bit of NAS action here at HardwareHeaven. Despite the fact they are essentially all the same, multiple bays, large network storage, manufacturers still find ways to differentiate them. From some vastly different operating systems, to NAS devices that can act as PC’s and even recently a model which ran Android, outputting over HDMI in the background. Today we take a look at a new device in our Thecus N2810 NAS Review.
Thecus N2810 NAS Review – Packaging and Bundle
The N2810 arrives in a box which gives us a clear view of the product as well as listing its key features. Inside the NAS is suspended in foam and the bundled items stored away in a smaller compartment. Those items are a network cable, 48w PSU, drive bay keys and a cable tie. There is also a set of product documentation and a software disc.
Thecus N2810 NAS Review – The NAS
The Thecus N2810 is shown above and is a 2 bay NAS device with both slots, and their locks, visible on the front surface. Down the left edge we find the power button, status LEDs and quick transfer button, allowing us to move contents from a a drive connected to the USB 3.0 slot beneath it to our internal storage. The front surface is plastic however the rest of the chassis is metal and our dimensions are 146x102x213mm.
Flipping the N2810 we find that the base has four rubber feet to keep it steady. On the back surface is the exhaust for the cooling fan and beside it power in, debug port, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI and dual GB LAN (inc. Load balancing and failover). Inside the N2810 we have an Intel Celeron N3050 dual core CPU (Braswell 1.6-2.16Ghz) and Thecus go with 2GB of DDR3, expandable up to 8GB.
As far as key features go we have:
RAID 0, 1 and JBOD
Data Backup including Time Machine
Remote access/Mobile App.
Anti-Virus…and much more.
Thecus N2810 NAS Review – Setup
Setup of the N2810 is a very simple process. First we pop out a drive bay, then unclip the rails on the side. Next we place the drive in the bay and secure it by clicking the rails back in. Slide the bay back in and the NAS is good to go on a hardware level.
NOTE: Some newer drives have fewer holes than the rails require. In cases such as this screws can be used. 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives are supported, up to 8TB each.
Once the NAS is powered on we open up the free setup tool. It finds our NAS on the network and launches the main interface in a browser window. The OS is fully up and running at this point and prompts us to configure the storage to our liking as well as create user accounts.
Thecus N2810 NAS Review – Software
With the storage and users configured our NAS is up and running. It uses a familiar Windows like interface and we can configure it further using the control panel. Firmware/OS updates are easily applied, just a few button clicks and extra functionality can be added using the App Centre. For example installation of media playback software to use with the HDMI port or streaming to a Chromecast. Elsewhere we can view our shared folders and launch items like the resource monitor to keep track of the device status.
Thecus N2810 NAS Review – Conclusion
One of the first things we always find with Thecus devices is that they are very solidly built and the N2810 is no different. There is that plastic panel on the front which gives the device some style however elsewhere the NAS is metal and feels very sturdy. It also has a much more industrial look than the competition, something which helps it stand out in this marketplace. If we had one issue on the hardware front it is the fan used, it is noticeable and so in quiet environments could be a problem. Stored away in a cabinet, or behind the TV etc its probably fine but on a desk next to the user, probably audible.
Performance was good on the N2810 with the OS always feeling responsive, transfer speeds exceeding 100MB/s and HD media playback working without issue. Streamed and via HDMI. Speaking of media, it would have been nice if Thecus could have built in and bundled a remote control.
Installation of drives in the NAS is super easy and we very much like that the OS is ready to go shortly after first power on. Its a little different from most NAS devices which walk us through a setup which can take 10minutes or more. Here we boot and then decide how to proceed. It was also nice to see that Thecus keep the OS very bare. We dont get any Apps forced on us that we dont need and overall maintenance of the OS is simple. Auto-firmware updates, good monitoring tool and responsive interface.
Summary: Other NAS devices offer some quirky or unique features however the N2810 does all the essentials very well. Solid build, nice industrial look, easy to use/responsive OS and plenty of options for expanded functionality via apps.