QNAP launches NAS en masse

We here at SimplyReviews recently got word of QNAPs new product lineup for the third quarter of 2014. Some of these units are looking pretty exciting, especially some of the high end home models. Let’s take a look, shall we? With QNAP’s upcoming lineup, they have two demographics in mind, with three tiers to accommodate each. The company is also offering rackmount models targeted towards small to medium businesses, while the home users have to remain content with a tower. Then again, only the geekiest technowizards will even have a server rack in their homes to begin with.

TS-670 Pro

Home Models

Home users will get QNAP’s typical quality in the upcoming models, as well as a wide breadth of features that should satisfy even the most cutting-edge families.

The mid-range model is equipped with a 2.41 Ghz Intel Celeron CPU containing two cores of raw processing power. It also comes equipped with a minimum of 1GB of RAM, and can be expanded to 4GB. There’s even a 4GB SKU so you can purchase a NAS equipped with 4GB direct from the store. Finally, there are 2, 4, 6, and 8 bay flavors available, so there are a wide range of options depending on your family’s needs. Not only that, but this model has support for HDMI applications, just in case you don’t already have a media player or similar appliance for your television, and if you have more than 1GB of RAM you can make use of the QNAP Virtualization Station to create and manage virtual machines. This might not seem like a useful feature for home users at first glance, but it ultimately means you can expand the functionality of your NAS with a variety of Linux applications, run a Minecraft server for the kids, and many other uses. Media transcoding is also supported, so even if the NAS can’t play your media out of the box, it can convert it to a format it can play on the fly. This will be the TS-x51 series, and the expected price range of the unit without drives is between $500 and $1000.

For higher-end families, your features are ultimately the same. However, you do get up to 16 GB of RAM to play with, as well as a sweet Intel Core i3-3220 catering to your every demand with two cores at 3.3 Ghz. There’s also no 2-bay option on hand in this range either, with QNAP opting to drop it in favor of four to eight bays. These models will be the TS-x70 Pro Series, and are expected to retail for between $1000 and $2000.

QNAP hasn’t left you college students out in the rain with your cup of noodles, either. There’s a sub-$500 model range for you as well. These models come with a Marvell 1.6Ghz ARM processor and only 512 MB of RAM. There are also two separate model ranges, with the TS-x20 series equipped with up to four bays and the lesser TS-x12P series that only accommodates up to 2 bays. You also don’t get any special features like transcoding, VMs, or even HDMI output. Frankly, if you’re considering this option you’d be better off either saving for a much stronger unit, a laptop, or putting it towards your grocery bill for the month.

TS-453 Pro

SMB Models

Business models understandably have higher specifications, even at their lowest tiers. Even the bottom tier business model is a step up from the bottom tier home model, being powered by a Marvell 2Ghz CPU instead of a 1.6Ghz and containing 1GB of memory. This is the TS-x21 series, and it comes in three sizes; 1, 2, or 4 bays.

The mid-range model is not all that different from the mid-range home model either. It’s equipped with a quad-core 2.0Ghz Celeron CPU, up to 8 GB of RAM, and up to 8 bays. The major difference from the home model is that the business model ditches HDMI output, although there will still be a display output (Presumably VGA). These models will be the TS-x53 Pros, and are expected to be sold for up to $1500.

Now here’s where things get interesting. On the high end, the TS-x70 series is also little different from the rest. It has a 2.6Ghz Celeron CPU, only 2GB of RAM, and up to 8 drive bays. However, it is also 10GbE ready, so there’s that. The unit also supports VMWare and Citrix, so you can use them as ESXi hosts or the Citrix equivalent. But that’s not the fun part. The top end NAS series, the TS-ECx80 Pro, is a massive 8 to 10 bay tower equipped with an Intel Xeon E3-1200 CPU clocked in at 3.4Ghz on four cores, two gigabytes of RAM (Upgradable to 32GB across 4 slots) and is also 10GbE ready  to accommodate for high bandwidth applications. This truly is the top of the line when it comes to tower NAS models…but how much can you expect to pay for one? QNAP is targeting a price range starting from a cool 1k all the way up to $3500, and that’s without the drives, mind you.

TS-EC1679U-RP

Rackmounts

Of course, as you may have wondered; where do the rackmount options factor into this? Well, the rackmounts cater almost exclusively to high-end SMBs all the way up to the enterprise sector. As such, they are all fully loaded with business-oriented software features paired with extremely powerful hardware. On the low end, the TS870U-RP and TS-1270U-RP come with dual core Intel CPUs, redundant power supplies, and are 10GbE ready. The 870 is equipped with 8 bays, while the 1270 has 12. A stark contrast from the low end of the tower models, to be certain. These models also only deal with SATA, although they all have 6Gbps read/write capabilities. On the opposite end of the table we have the SAS/SATA 6G models coming in with up to 24 bays of storage, 10 gigabit bandwidth capabilities, up to 32 GB of ECC RAM, and a 3.4Ghz Intel Xeon E3-1245v2 CPU with four cores. All that power isn’t free, however. Some people gripe at a pound of flesh; let’s see how they squall when they see that the most expensive enterprise model will cost them 5 tons of flesh ($9999, in real currency). For some large businesses, however, it is definitely worth it.

Conclusion

We aren’t too far off from the third quarter of 2014; in fact some of these models are already out and available for consumers. We were fortunate enough to receive a TS-451 ourselves, and have been using it to great effect here at the office. However, our mouths are already watering at the prospect of getting our hands on a TS-x53 unit, and we’re definitely chomping at the bit for more great offerings from QNAP.

The entire range consist of all new tower-based Turbo NAS TS-x53 Pro series (available in 2, 4, 6, 8-bay) and the 2.5”-drive SS-x53 Pro series (4 and 8-bay) that provide a powerful and reliable solution for data storage and mission-critical business applications for small and medium businesses. Coupled with exclusive QvPC Technology, these new series can serve as cost-effective PC substitutes that enable direct access to stored data, real-time surveillance monitoring with local display, XBMC digital entertainment, and more.

We’ll keep you posted as we know more on the entire product range.

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