We tested our first Thecus product a little over four years ago: a two-bay NAS powered by an Intel IOP 80219 processor and 128MB of DDR RAM. Although we have many aspects of the Y.E.S. Box, it was not without flaws. The user interface was ugly and clumsy, the setup process and how-to guides were confusing, and the documentation was lousy.
Unless you're a network wizard, configuring the N2100 can be a challenge. Worst of all, the N2100's performance was miserable – we're talking slower than some USB 2.0 thumb drives with a peak transfer rate of around 13MB / s. Looking back on the test, it's amazing how far we've come in terms of cost and functionality in just a few years.
While NAS device prices haven't changed much, virtually everything else has changed. The N2100 Y.E.S. The box was set at $ 300 without storage, and two 500GB desktop hard drives were priced at $ 260 – roughly three times today's price. In fact, 2TB of 5400 RPM desktop drives start at just $ 80, and today's budget NAS devices are vastly more powerful and functional.
Some of the better offerings compete with and often outperform a mid-range desktop system. At the same time, they serve as a torrent box, hub for your photos, music and videos, mail and print servers, backup stations and much more. With that said, we're excited to see how far Thecus mainstream offering has come since 2007.
The company has released tons of new products and we have one on site: the N3200XXX, another NAS for small / home offices. The $ 430 device is part of Thecus' new XXX range that is said to offer Xtreme Performance, Xtreme Feature, and Xtreme Value. As cute as that may be, we're more interested in seeing how the N3200XXX holds up against the competition …