Patriot Javelin S4 Media Server Conclusion
The Patriot Javelin S4 Media Server lives up to its name of being much more than a simple NAS but a real multimedia server. The combination of up to 12TB of network based storage and the ultra simple plug and play convenience of the quick configuration wizard makes this SOHO solution perfect for someone new to the NAS market. This unit put my fears to rest of a noisy box under my desk because even with all four WD drives being hit hard with random access I was not able to hear a sound from the HDD’s or the cooling fan.
As I said earlier it is pretty obvious that the Patriot Javelin S4 is simply a white re-branded version of the Promise Technologies SmartStor NS4600 unit but at $336.31 shipped
it runs about $50.00 less expensive than the black Promise SmartStor NS4600 storage server.
I really liked that the Javelin S4 was both a simple plug and play affair for the novice user and still offered powerful features that you do not typically find on a SOHO appliance. I also appreciated that Patriot made sure this appliance supported the latest 3TB drives, something else not all 4 bay NAS products on the market can do today. The lack of SATA III support is currently a non-issue since there are no spindle based HDD on the market today that can exceed that bandwidth. The inclusion of 10/100/1000 Ethernet helps with compatibility while providing decent bandwidth for read and write performance. Finally the amount of options and features of the Javelin S4 is almost overwhelming and very impressive at this price point.
If I had to point out anything that could use improvement on the Patriot Javelin S4 it would be better documentation for some of the advanced features. Don’t get me wrong, the manuals are great for most users and features but for example I had to figure out how to modify the space allocation for the iSCSI feature through trial and error. I am sure that if you are advanced enough to understand what iSCSI provides you are probable able to work with the minimal information to get the features working. If you are considering using the iSCSI target feature I would encourage you to play around with the Javelin S4 for a bit before you settle on a configuration and start backing up data. Once you have allocated space it can be challenging to re-provision especially if you already backed up your 4TB video collection.
In the end I loved the Patriot Javelin S4 for being easy enough for the novice and feature rich enough for the pro at a very fair price point. Some might argue that you could build something similar to this with open source software such as FreeNAS but unless you already own the hardware I am not sure you could purchase a new rig with similar hardware features at the $300.00 price point. Further, I am positive it would not be as easy to use, have the same ultra small form factor, or be nearly as feature rich. Just remember that the Javelin S4 does not come with any hard drives so that will increase your overall cost.
We were so impressed by the Javelin S4 that we awarded it our coveted Editors Choice Award for Storage.
Legit Bottom Line: Great performance at a reasonable price point with so many features you would have a hard time using them all. If you are in the market for large network based storage, this is a must buy.