Review: Thecus N5200XXX
Thecus has been on a winning streak lately with the introduction of some new products in their lineup. The N4200PRO proved to be a very competitive product and the introduction of the N8900 gave us power hungry enthusiasts with something to salivate over. Although the four bay N4200PRO delivered top notch performance and incorporated a built-in mini UPS, it was still missing something… another drive bay! Enter the Thecus N5200XXX.
The message Thecus is sending here in the name of the N5200XXX is Xtreme Power, Xtreme Function, and Xtreme Value. The N5200XXX sports the same Intel Atom D525, running at 1.8 GHz ,processor as other models in their lineup, features 1GB of DDR-3, has two 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, five USB 2.0 ports, and one eSATA port. The best feature of the N5200XXX is the five internal drive bays serving up to 15TB of data!
When you start moving your eyes along the device, you are reminded of a design company stuck in the 80′s. For some reason, whenever I look at the N5200XXX, I feel like I should stick a quarter in it and expect to hear Billy Idol start singing White Wedding. The front is home to the LCD Information screen, a slew of buttons, the XXX and Thecus logos, and a plastic push to release door that is garnished with the same metal sheeting found on the N4200PRO. The speed bump like front door is made from a decent plastic material and when opened it introduces you to the 5-bay goodness hiding behind it.
Each drive bay is peppered with a lockable handle and some activity LED’s. During the drive installation, it was possible to remove the drives directly from the already configured N4200PRO and populate the N5200XXX. Although it isn’t documented or recommended by Thecus, moving the drives to the N5200XXX from the N4200PRO kept everything in tact; the RAID volume and all the data was present and accounted for. The only thing I had to do was add another drive and use the RAID expansion features to expand the array to include the fifth disk.
The back of the unit features most of the connectivity options and a built in Power Supply, no power brick here! The rear is home to the eSATA port, four of the 5 USB ports, both Ethernet ports, the power supply and a fan for some cool computing. Looking closely, you will also notice that the unit makes use of some thumb screws for accessibility. This makes upgrading RAM an easy task. the only thing missing here is the mini UPS that gave the N4200PRO a C.O.D. Gold Award!