LAS VEGAS, NV -- Most of us don't upgrade our NAS with every new processor or feature release. The category is rarely a hot topic among gamers, but many PC enthusiasts have either built or bought a NAS at some point. The largest problem with these products has always been the cost. Modern burly NAS cost as much as a PC—and they should. The small form factor designs, exceptional software, and hardware costs are very high. The systems cost as much as computers because they are computers, and then some.
Asustor might have just the upgrade to entice those typically hesitant customers. The company plans to release a new model that features 10Gb Ethernet as well as four drive bays, and at a great price point. The new AS4004T (and two-bay AS4002T) could be just what the market needs to break wide open to a new group of users. The AS4004T features two 10GbE network ports, a single 1GbE port, single fan cooling, and a toolless design that will cost less than $400 (unofficial pricing is set at $360).
To help reduce costs, the Asustor AS4004T and two-bay version AS4002T don't use external multimedia ports like HDMI or S/PDIF. The system is mainly a storage box, a true network-attached storage system used to hold data. The low-power Marvell Armada 7020 processor is powerful enough to stream media files over DLNA but we wouldn't expect the system to transcode high bit-rate content without dropping frames. We will have to test that feature when the system comes to market later this year.
Asustor's ADM software is one of the best available. The system's 2GB DDR4 system memory will allow users to load some software, but don't expect to run several third-party add-in packages at the same time without overloading the 1.4GHz processor.
This system's main feature is the speedy 10Gb network connection. Netgear announced a new consumer-focused router at CES 2018 with two 10GbE ports. We've written about this topic at every large trade show since 2015. 10GbE is slowly coming to lower-cost devices like the new AS4004T, but the rate is much slower than consumer demand.
Asustor has entered the toolless drive bay club with this product. We expect to see future NAS products from the company to share the new drive tray design.