QNAP TS-412 Turbo NAS

Stripping the QNAP TS-412 Turbo NAS from its packaging, I was surprised by how much it resembles the TS-459 Pro Turbo I reviewed over a year ago. The unit measures a fairly modest 9.25" (235mm) long, 7.08" (180mm) wide and 6.96" (177mm) tall -- the same dimensions shared by all current QNAP 4-bay NAS devices designed for 3.5" hard drives. Without drives installed, the TS-412 weighs 6.61lbs (3.0kg), a bit heavier than the Synology DS411J.

The black front and aluminum chassis gives it a very sleek and professional look. You'll immediately get the impression that it's worth quite a lot of money -- and you'd be right. Although it's designed to be a budget NAS with an asking price of $460, the TS-412 is still certainly a luxury item for most home users.

Like all good NAS devices, the TS-412 allows drives to be hot-swapped during operation. The use of individual, detachable 3.5-inch hard drive trays makes adding or removing storage capacity a breeze. The security-conscious should know that the bays can't be locked so drives can be removed at any time.

Each drive also has its own activity and power light on the front of the case, while status, LAN and USB LED indicators sit on top. The TS-412's power button resides on the bottom left and glows blue when active, and there's a USB 2.0 port below it for easy data transfers from portable storage devices.

Because it uses the same case as more expensive 4-bay models, it may appear as though the TS-412 supports QNAP Touch-N-Go PC-less, which consists of an inbuilt LCD screen that can be programmed to display information. However, we can assure you that this particular feature is not present.

The rear of the TS-412 Turbo NAS bears a single 120mm fan grill, a power plug and several connectors, including three USB 2.0 ports, dual LAN ports and dual eSATA ports. The inclusion of eSATA is greatly welcomed and we consider it an essential feature for all NAS devices, regardless of their price tag.