Most consumer and small office NAS devices use 3.5″ drives because these offer the best compromise between size, cost and storage density. Thecus’ latest NAS takes things one step further by letting one use either 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives – but is this feature worth all the hassle?

Despite being just a few years old, Thecus has managed to build up a fairly impressive lineup of products, ranging from enterprise-level rackmount servers to compact solutions targeted at consumers.

Today, we’re looking one of Thecus’ latest network storage devices, the N0503. With a multitude of NAS manufacturers out there, it’s hard to make something that stands out. That, however, is what Thecus is aiming for with the N0503.

What makes the Thecus N0503 stand out from its rivals is its ability to use either three 3.5″ drives or five 2.5″ drives. The key advantages of using 2.5″ drives, according to Thecus, are lower power consumption and noise. But seeing as 2.5″ drives are far pricier than their 3.5″ counterparts, are these benefits worth it?

That aside, the N0503 seems pretty solid in the hardware department at first glance. It packs Dual Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA and two USB ports powered by a full-fledged Intel Atom processor.

So how does it all fall together? Read on to find out…

Specifications

The hardware specifications of the N0503 are listed below:
 

Item

Spec

Processor

Intel® ATOM™ Technology

SATA device

3×3.5” or 5×2.5” SATA for internal, 1xeSATA for external

System Memory

1024MB DDR2 SODIMM SDRAM

LAN Interface (PCI-e)

RJ-45×2 : 10/100/1000 BASE-TX Auto MDI/MDI-X
WOL supported

USB Interface

USB 2.0 host port x2(Front x1, Back x1) (A Type)

LCM Module

2*16

LED indicator

  • Power(Blue)
  • HDD1-5 Activity/Fail(Green/Red)
  • WAN (Link : Green; Activity : Green)
  • LAN (Link : Green; Activity :Green)
  • PCI Slot

    1

    Power supply

    96W External Power Adaptor

    Disk interface

    SATA via backplane

    Thermal/Fan control

  • Thermal sensor on processor temperature
  • Temperature controlled system FAN speed
  • Buttons
  • Power button(Front, power down controlled by S/W)
  • Reset button
  • LCM button (ENT,ESC,UP, DOWN)
  • Environment

  • Temperature : 5°C to 40°C
  • Humidity : 0 ~ 80 % R.H. (Non-condensing)
  • Dimension

    Tower Base

    The software specifications are rather long, so here’s a link to the rest of it: