QNAP certainly knows design. Its deluxe NAS devices are made out of metal and come with tons of connectors, but such quality doesn't come cheap. If you have nice budget for your gadgets, you can get a very fine jack-of-all-trades from QNAP. If you can't spend as freely, but still want some comprehensive features, QNAP has some interesting mid-range options too. Its new two-bay QNAP TS-220, for example, is available for an average of £200.
The design of this mid-range model is more basic than that of the flagship NAS devices from this brand. The chassis is plastic instead of metal, and the hard disk trays do not have locks. It still looks like a QNAP product, and the white colour looks good. On the front, next to the trays, you'll find the power button, a USB 2.0 port, and a sync button for copying files from an external source. On the back, the TS-220 has a gigabit network port, two USB 3.0 ports and two eSATA ports.
The TS-220 is built around Marvell's ARM platform - in this case the single-core 88F6282. It's a common chip for mid-range NAS devices, and here it's clocked at 1.6GHz. There is 512MB of RAM. The other model, the TS-221, has the same processor, but it runs at 2GHz, and there's 1GB of RAM. That TS-221 is more expensive, with an average price of £269. The TS-220 has decent hardware for its price segment, very similar to the Synology DS213air, but that only comes with 256MB of RAM.
The quality of the software is of course paramount for NAS devices, and in this area Qnap made a lot of progress with the launch of QTS 4.0. The new environment has a new look, and emphasises the use of apps. The interface looks a lot like a tablet. A very practical feature is the information panel you can access on the main screen that contains the status of the entire system. You can read the rest of QNAP TS-220 preview on Hardware.info (opens in new tab).