Thecus N4100EVO preview: 4 bays for a snip

We have recently reviewed a lot of NAS devices, and now it's Thecus' turn. Its new N4100EVO seems a relatively affordable and very comprehensive NAS for its £240 pricetag.

Despite its relatively low cost, this is a model that is pretty fully-featured. The compact little box has a door on the front, behind which the four hard drive trays are located. The trays are equipped with individual locks. On the front you will find an on/off switch, a USB connection and a display. The latter is a very practical feature to have, since it lets you see what the IP address is (for example) without having to use a computer. It does seem that the designers forgot about a viewing angle, as it's easiest to read at eye-level.

The rear of the N4100EVO is also pretty complete. In addition to a USB port you will find two gigabit network connections and the connector for the power supply cable. Unlike many other NAS devices of this size, the N4100EVO has an integrated power supply so you don't have to worry about a large external power adapter. The case is largely made out of metal, only the front panel is plastic.

The hardware of the N4100EVO is based on a dual-core processor by Cavium. This CNS3420 is an energy-efficient (one to 2.2 watt) processor based on two ARM11 cores running at 600MHz. When you look at the block diagram it looks as if there should be a 700MHz version as well, but that is not yet available. The processor is supported by 256MB of DDR2 memory, flash memory and a microcontroller for the little display on the front. On the motherboard it says "N4100ECO" which could mean that Thecus either renamed this model or that a more energy-efficient version is on the way. You can read the rest of Thecus N4100EVO preview on Hardware.info.

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