Just over four years ago, we reviewed our first Thecus product: a dual-bay NAS powered by an Intel IOP 80219 processor and 128MB of DDR RAM. Although we appreciated many aspects of the Y.E.S. Box, it wasn't without flaws. Its GUI was ugly and clumsy, its setup process and quick start guides were confusing, and it had lousy documentation.
Unless you were a network wiz, configuring the N2100 could be somewhat challenging. Worst of all, the N2100's performance was miserable -- we're talking slower than some USB 2.0 thumbdrives with a peak transfer rate of around 13MB/s. Looking back at the review, it's incredible how far we've come in terms of cost and functionality in just a few years.
While pricing on NAS devices hasn't changed much, virtually everything else has. The N2100 Y.E.S. Box was set at $300 sans storage and two 500GB desktop hard drives were $260 -- roughly triple today's pricing. In fact, 2TB 5400RPM desktop drives start at only $80, and today's budget NAS devices are considerably more powerful and functional.
Some of the better offerings rival and often beat the performance of a mid-range desktop system, all while serving as a torrent box, a hub for your photos, music, and videos, a mail and print server, a backup station and much more. Considering that progression, we're anxious to see how far Thecus' mainstream offering has come since 2007.
The company has released countless new products and we have one onsite: the N3200XXX, another small office/home office NAS. The $430 device is part of Thecus' new XXX series, which supposedly delivers Xtreme power, Xtreme function, and Xtreme value. As cute as that may be, we're more interested in seeing how the N3200XXX stacks up to the competition...
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