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LaCie 5big Office+ preview: Windows Home Server's big brother

LaCie enjoys taking a different approach to things. Its designs are distinctive, use atypical colours, and sometimes come with completely unique features. Let's be honest, the case of this 5big Office+ probably doesn't look anything like any other server or NAS you've ever encountered before. It's a massive aluminium case, with a big blue button in the middle. It's different, but in a good way - at least that's our opinion.

Lacie uses the 5big cases for a variety of different models. There is the 5big Network 2, a normal (Linux) NAS, the 5big Office, a system based on Windows Home Server 2011, and now the 5big Office+ that we are reviewing here. The new arrival is supposed to be the big brother of the 5big Office, which is reflected in the choice of OS. This version comes with Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials instead of Windows Home Server, but more about that later.

As the name suggests, there is room for five hard drives in the 5big Office+. The disks are easily accessible and sit in sturdy, metal trays in the back of the device. LaCie offers the choice of one 2TB disk or five 2TB disks for a maximum capacity of 10TB. On the back you can see that it is actually a PC with a unique design. In addition to the two gigabit network connectors, the three USB 2.0 ports, the eSATA connector, and the connector for the power supply, you can also connect a VGA monitor, should you feel or have the need to do so.

The system is based on a dual-core Intel Atom D510, with 2GB of memory. The little motherboard has an Intel ICH9 south bridge responsible for controlling the hard drives. The two gigabit connectors are controlled by two Intel 82574L gigabit chips. You can read the rest of LaCie 5big Office+ preview on