The Thecus N0204 miniNAS pocket RAID storage device is very impressive for its rather small size. You really can’t get a feel for how small this NAS device really is, so the photo above next to a 12oz beverage can really puts things into perspective. This eight page review really doesn’t do the drive justice as we just skimmed over the basics with the N0204. If you’d like to get a better feel for the N0204 miniNAS before purchasing one you should really download the user’s manual and skim through it. The manual is fairly large at 90 pages, but does contain step by step instructions on how to set up the device correctly.
For a first time user, setting up a NAS can be a real pain in the butt if you don’t know what you are doing. Thecus has tried to solve this problem with the one-click install option, and to be honest, it works really well for someone that might not feel comfortable with setup. For power users, the manual install option can be had, which gives advanced users the chance to customize some settings right from the bat. Once the basic setup and networking is done, the specific settings are done on the web interface, which is easy to do when referencing the user’s manual that we linked above. It will take you a good couple hours to get it up and running the way you want, but once it is up and running you can stream music, pictures and other media formats around the home/office with ease and you have a place to backup your precious data.
When it comes to performance, we were very disappointed by what we saw using the SSDs, and to be honest we can conclude that using SSDs for performance in the Thecus N0204 miniNAS is a downright waste of money. You would honestly be better off going with a pair of identical 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM magnetic hard drives and you’ll find yourself on par with the performance you saw here today. Reaching 30MB/s read speeds and 16MB/s write speeds should be easy enough for even 5400 RPM drives, but that might not be such a bad thing as that will lower costs. At just $149.99 at Newegg.com the Thecus N0204 miniNAS itself is fairly inexpensive, but you can pick up some 250GB Seagate Momentus 5400.4 hard drives for just $54.84 shipped. All said and done, you can piece together a nice NAS at a very decent price. The somewhat low performance numbers can be blamed on the OXFord 810DSE processor that runs at just 367MHz. Other 2-bay NAS devices like the Synology DS209 2-bay 3.5″ NAS feature twice the memory and have a processor running at 1.2 GHz, so you can see why the performance would be higher on a model like that. The Synology DS209 is also twice the price and uses larger drives, which means the device itself is much larger.
If you are wanting a small 2-bay NAS and don’t mind using 2.5″ laptop hard drives then the Thecus N0204 miniNAS is an easy choice. Nothing on the market today can touch it when it comes to pricing, features or the small footprint that it occupies. As long as you don’t expect full size NAS performance then you won’t be let down by this device!
Legit Bottom Line: The Thecus N0204 miniNAS pocket RAID storage device is an easy to use NAS server that features decent performance and the smallest form factor that we have ever seen in a NAS device!