First Impressions

The XXX series is comprised of various products ranging from 2-bay models right up to high-end 8-bay versions. The N3200XXX we have is somewhat of a middleman, armed with three (empty) 3.5" drive bays, an Intel Atom N270 processor -- commonly found in nettops -- and 1GB of DDR2 RAM.

To be perfectly honest, the N3200XXX isn't the most impressive looking NAS device we've had the pleasure to lay eyes on. It looks rather cheap compared to the recently the reviewed LG N2A2 and sitting it next to any of Synology's latest products doesn't do it any favors either.

Fortunately for the N3200XXX, we don't consider a NAS device's aesthetics to be of high importance for our needs. Nonetheless, it's worth noting our first impressions of the device's appearance considering how many people choose to store their NAS in plain sight, such as a living room.

The unit measures just 8.6 x 6.5 x 6.4 inches, which is slightly smaller than Synology's budget-oriented 4-bay DiskStation DS410j (9.1 x 6.6 x 7.4 inches). Within that compact footprint, the N3200XXX can house three 3.5" hard drives for a maximum capacity of 9TB.

Without any drives installed the N2A2 weighs 6.2lbs (2.80kg), which is a little heavy given the larger 4-bay Synology DS411j is 4.9lbs (2.23kg). We've excluded the power brick from that figure, which is made by FSP Group and appears to be much better quality than those commonly found powering Synology and QNAP devices.

The FSP096-AHB is designed for a maximum power output of 120watt @ 2.5amps, is said to have an efficiency of 88% and will typically last 100,000 hours of use.

The front of the N3200XXX has a flimsy silver plastic case door which doesn't open or close that well. With the door shut, there are four buttons available to navigate up/down, enter and escape. These buttons interact with the small LED screen to the left which displays vitals among other things.

The hard drive activity LEDs are also visible with the door closed, as are the WAN and LAN status LEDs. With the door open, you can access the power button as well as install/remove hard drives from the hot-swappable bays.

Around back there's a circular 4-pin power connector, small reset button, two Ethernet jacks along with a USB 2.0 port for connecting devices such as printers and an eSATA port for external hard drives. There's also a large 92mm exhaust fan to remove heat generated by the three 3.5" hard drives.

The ADDA AD0912DX-A76GL fan is an ultra-low speed model that is rated at 1600 RPM and moves 28.0 CFM of air.

The entire device is cased in a silver aluminum shell that feels durable. At the bottom are four soft rubber feet that lift the N3200XXX a few millimeters off the desk. However, since there's no ventilation on the underside of the case, there doesn't appear to be any need for air-flow here.