Asustor AS6302T ..................................................
THIS CUT DOWN APPLIANCE IS NEARLY AS CAPABLE AS THE FOUR BAY VERSION, BUT THE PRICE IS HARDER TO SWALLOW
T he Asustor AS6302T isn’t that di erent to the Labs-winning 6404T – the most obvious di erence being that it has two drive bays rather than four. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it reduces noise and power consumption, and makes for an agreeably compact case. The trade-o , of course, is versatility: a mirrored RAID1 array is your only sensible option. The LCD display and control buttons are also gone. You’re still left with coloured LEDs indicating power, network and drive activity, plus a one-click copy button, with its own activity light, for the front-facing USB 3 port. Even so, the appliance feels more like a generic black box.
Inside, the AS6302T is powerful, but slightly less so than its larger sibling. It comes with a dual-core Celeron instead of a quad-core CPU, and only 2GB of RAM installed – though you can replace the supplied 1GB DDR3L SODIMMs with 4GB modules to bring it up to parity with the AS6404T.
In practice, there’s plenty of power for standard NAS duties, and since the AS6302T runs the same ADM system software as the AS6404T, you get the same extensive range of apps and services. That includes the Asus Cloud Connect service, Surveillance Station, numerous backup and cloud sync options, and video streaming from Plex, Kodi and others.
You can also take advantage of the full gamut of local applications and media capabilities because the HDMI and S/ PDIF connectors at the rear remain in place, alongside two USB 3 ports and twin Gigabit Ethernet ports. Even the USB-C connector has survived the shrink.
On paper, it all looks good – a cheaper, more compact way to get the same core capabilities as the four-bay model. The sticking point is the price. For the same price you could buy a Synology DS216j and populate it with a 4TB drive.
And yes, as with the AS6404T, there’s a case to be made that splashing out on an upmarket appliance pays o in the long run in terms of future-proofing. But when we’re talking about a two-bay drive with a lesser dual-core processor, the argument isn’t so persuasive. As much, therefore, as we would love to recommend the terrifically capable AS6320T, we’ll have to wait until the price drops.