Last year, I reviewed one of ASUSTOR’s first NAS enclosures – the AS-606T (from the 6-series) which is targeted at small businesses and prosumers. This year, ASUSTOR has introduced the 3-series NAS enclosures that are more targeted at home and multimedia users.
I will be reviewing the ASUSTOR AS-302T NAS enclosure in this and upcoming few posts. Scroll to the bottom of the post to look at other parts of the AS-302T review.
|Review At A Glance|
|Product||ASUSTOR AS-302T – 2 Bay Gigabit Multimedia NAS Enclosure [product link]|
|Summary||A cutting edge 2 bay multimedia NAS for your digital lifestyle|
|Pros|| + Dual Core Intel 1.6GHz Atom Processor|
+ 1080P high-definition multimedia playback capability
+ License for 4 IP cameras
+ Great NAS for multimedia centre usage
|Cons|| – 1GB RAM (not upgradable)|
- No eSATA Port
|SRP||S$499.00 (at time of post)|
The AS-302T NAS enclosure
The ASUSTOR AS-302T features a Intel dual-core 1.6GHz Atom CE5335 processor, 1GB DDR3 memory and 2 hot-swappable slots for hard disk drives. The CE5335 processor supports hyper threading and has built-in enhanced graphic capabilities for processing multimedia content which makes it suitable as a home multimedia centre.
Multimedia-wise, it is equipped with HDMI 1.4a (capable of 1920 x 1080 output) and 3.5mm audio out port for connection to the television or speakers.
|ASUSTOR AS-302T Technical Specifications|
|Processor||Intel Atom 1.6GHz Dual-Core Processor|
|Storage||2 x 3.5"/2.5" SATA II/III or SSD (Hot-swappable)|
|RAID Levels|| Single Disk|
Support for Online RAID Level Migration
Support for Online RAID Capacity Expansion
|Capacity||Up to 8TB|
|iSCSI||Target & Initiator|
|Networking||1 x 10/100/1000|
|Connectors|| 2 x USB 3.0|
2 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI 1.4a
1 x 3.5mm Audio
|Dimensions||163.5 (H) x 108 (W) x 230 (D) mm|
|Power Consumption|| Operation – 19.9W|
Disk Hibernation – 13.4W
Sleep – 0.8W
Features System Sleep Mode (S3) for low power consumption
The ASUSTOR AS-302T comes neatly packaged in a brown box. You will find the following as part of the package:
- ASUSTOR AS-302T NAS enclosure
- 1 x Ethernet patch cable
- Installation CD
- Power cord + adaptor unit
- Sachet of screws for mounting hard disk to drive caddy
The AS-302T feels rather sturdy with majority of its body in dark gray brushed metal except for the front and back panel which is in black plastic. On the left panel (viewing from the front), there are ventilation holes to aid the airflow within the enclosure. The CPU is passively cooled by a big heatsink so make sure you don’t block them.
On the front panel, there are the LEDs for power, drive, network and USB activities. There is a USB 3.0 port (in blue) near the bottom, just left of the two drive bays. Looking closely at the top right corner, you will find that the IR receiver. Yes, the remote control is offered as an optional accessory which you can use to exploit the AS-302T multimedia capability (e.g. controlling XBMC).
Turning the AS-302T around, there is the 70mm fan responsible for cooling the unit. There is the HDMI 1.4a and 3.5mm audio out jack for multimedia, 2 x USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 (in blue) and a single 10/100/1000 megabits ethernet port. Near the base of the AS-302T is the Kensington lock slot for securing the enclosure physically. One thing I could not figure out is why would one bother to secure the enclosure when the drive caddies are easily available (and removable)?
The Operating System
The ASUSTOR Data Master (ADM) 2.0 is the latest instalment of ASUSTOR’s widely praised NAS operating system (embedded Linux). It features a substantially optimised user interface that is both intuitive and user-friendly. ADM supports multi-tasking and comes pre-installed with a rich assortment of applications.
The ADM also features App Central, an App platform that contains quite a number of add-on Apps which allow users to download Apps to add functionality to the ASUSTOR NAS. All of the functions in the ADM are presented using using simple icons.
Some of the cool Apps are the AiMaster and AiData. They allow users to experience the convenience of cloud computing on the go:
- AiMaster – This is a management utility app for monitoring and controlling the ASUSTOR NAS remotely.
- AiData – It is pretty much a cloud storage app that gives you access to your files on the move.
Check out ADM 2.0 at ASUSTOR live demo site at http://www.asustor.com/live_demo.
The support for Cross-Platform
The ASUSTOR NAS is platform agnostic. Meaning to say, you can access your data seamlessly no matter if you are using Windows, Mac OS, or Unix-like operating systems. It supports the following protocols:
- Windows – CIFS/SMB, FTP and WebDAV
- Mac OS X – AFP, SMB, NFS, FTP and WebDAV
- Linux – NFS, SMB, FTP and WebDAV
With the AS-302T supporting most protocols, I don’t see any communication issues for any operating systems. Just in case you are wondering if it works with the new AFP standards used since OS X Mountain Lion (and Mavericks), yes it does.
The ASUSTOR AS-302T is well built and functions great as a multimedia centre (check out the post on home multimedia centre).
As for using it as a backup, it will certainly meet most end user’s requirement with RAID1 and ability to configure it as a TimeMachine backup location.
I personally feel that one should get at least a 4-bay (e.g. ASUSTOR AS-304T, Synology DS412+ (review)) to maximise storage capacity and redundancy. In a RAID1 configuration, you are effectively losing out on 50% of your storage space while on a RAID5 configuration with 4 disks, you only lose out on 25% of your storage space. In both RAID1 and RAID5, the system can tolerate up to single disk failure.
The different parts of ASUSTOR AS-302T review