HWM (Malaysia) - - SMB - ANALYSIS AT A GLANCE - Az­izul Rah­man Is­mail

ASUS­TOR makes some of the most ver­sa­tile NAS sys­tems for con­sumers and busi­nesses alike. The brand pi­o­neered many tech­nolo­gies that oth­ers em­u­late to stay in the game, but per­fect, its NAS de­signs are not. We take a look at the AS3104T to see what im­prove­ments have been done, what are the lessons learnt, and what in­no­va­tions ASUS­TOR brings to the ta­ble this time around.

The AS3104T’s stylish di­a­mond-plate fin­ish is typ­i­cal of NAS mak­ers. How­ever, it doesn’t bring any­thing new to the ta­ble, and its over­all de­sign is not one of our fa­vorites.

Thumb screws are the prom­i­nent fas­ten­ers when it comes to the AS3104T. They hold the cover onto the unit, as well as the hard drives that are in­stalled within the unit. Although they tech­ni­cally qual­ify as tool-less, it’s hardly a mod­ern im­ple­men­ta­tion. While they look good, you’ll have to re­move plenty of screws to in­stall or re­place HDDs in this unit, whereas other NAS de­signs uti­lize trays with snapon fas­ten­ers.

If you can look past the de­sign quirks, you are go­ing to find one of the best per­form­ing NAS sys­tems avail­able to date. Its pro­cess­ing power comes from an In­tel Celeron 1.6GHz dual-core pro­ces­sor, which is then paired with 2GB of DDR3L mem­ory for a NAS that is fast, re­spon­sive, and ver­sa­tile.

The ver­sa­til­ity of the AS3104T is most ev­i­dent in its se­lec­tion of apps. The num­ber of apps avail­able for the de­vice ranges from me­dia play­ers, to browsers, and server soft­ware. In fact, you can con­nect the NAS to a mon­i­tor or TV dis­play via an HDMI ca­ble, plug in a key­board and mouse, and have your­self an ADM-pow­ered PC (ASUS­TOR’s own OS) ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­tiv­ity ap­pli­ca­tions and web brows­ing.

Setup was sim­ple. Although ASUS­TOR rec­om­mends that users down­load the ap­pli­ca­tion from the of­fi­cial site and con­fig­ure the NAS from there, we find that ac­cess­ing the NAS and in­stalling it through the net­work to be much eas­ier.

The 4-bay AS3104T NAS fares very well in our tests. Read and write speeds av­er­aged at 100MB/s. We also find the Mac OS-like user in­ter­face to be very user friendly.


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