It's fair to say that we had some pretty high expectations for the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS given its specifications and price tag. Thus we were pleased to see that it was able to outclass every other NAS device we had reviewed before, and even bested our desktop test system in almost every test we ran.
In terms of performance, the TS-809 Pro Turbo didn't just meet our expectations, it crushed them. The throughput was incredible and its sustained transfer speeds of over 100MB/s meant this device is in a class of its own, even when compared to Synology's highest performance SOHO NAS devices like the DS409+.
With a starting price of $1,700 it's obvious the TS-809 Pro Turbo is not intended for home users, at least not any with standard kind of needs. All up you'd be looking at spending ~$3,000 to build a 16TB server when factoring in the cost of eight 2TB drives, which can be had for as little as $150 apiece these days. For businesses that need the highest levels of performance and capacity, the TS-809 Pro Turbo will certainly deliver on all its promises.
Besides supporting an incredible amount of storage, the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo features an aesthetically pleasing design. It's fairly compact for an 8-bay NAS, and operates quietly thanks to a pair of 120mm fans on the back; so you could either leave it in plain sight or tuck it away to be managed remotely through its intuitive interface.
While on that topic, we loved QNAP's AJAX-based GUI. You'll find a myriad of configuration options under each menu, and yet navigating through the admin interface was unbelievably painless, making it easier to exploit the full potential of this device. It's also comforting to know QNAP is keeping busy on improving its software. Since its release (Feb. 09) there have been 7 major firmware releases for the TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS, with the latest version 3.1.2 (Build 1014) being used in our review.
For all the good things we've mentioned so far, there are also a few others where we feel QNAP is falling rather short. A glaring limitation is the one-year warranty, which seems a little skimpy for such an expensive product that is aimed toward businesses. We were also disappointed and surprised to learn that eSATA support is nonexistent. While it is possible to connect an external storage unit using USB 2.0, the lack of eSATA means that performance for these drives is going to be quite limited.
Our last gripe has to do with the power supply. While the PSU itself is of good quality, and from a purely aesthetics point of view we like that it is contained within the case, replacing it out of warranty could cause a few problems down the road.
The QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo is an impressive product that sets a new standard for all high-end NAS devices. Furthermore, its intuitive software, 8-bay hot-swap design, and enterprise-friendly features like built-in iSCSI target service, AES 256-bit volume-based encryption, and dual Gigabit Ethernet NICs for teaming and network failover safety truly make this a unique product that's well worth the asking price.