We imagine most buyers of prebuilt network-attached storage systems just want to plug the box in and forget that it exists for at least a couple of years. QNAP's latest TS-253Be and TS-453Be NAS units promise that kind of reliability and convenience. They're also expandable through either two or four drive bays and a versatile PCIe slot for adding Wi-Fi, 10-Gigabit Ethernet, or M.2 devices.
A four-chambered Intel Celeron J3455 Apollo Lake SoC beats in the heart of both the TS-253Be two-bay and the TS-453Be four-bay appliances. The manufacturer offers the appliances with either 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3L memory, but buyers can stuff in as much as 8 GB of RAM. QNAP says both boxes can do hardware AES-NI encryption and real-time H.264 and H.265 video transcoding. The machines have two Gigabit Ethernet jacks, five USB 3.0 ports, and two HDMI 1.4a outputs. An integrated speaker lets out audio alerts or plays back sounds.
QNAP's optional QM2 PCIe cards let operators expand either box with two M.2 slots and a 10-Gigabit Ethernet jack on one add-in board. The company offers a QM2 variation with two SATA M.2 slots or dual NVMe M.2 slots, so buyers will need to shop carefully. Once installed, M.2 SSDs can function as drive caches. Alternately, speed-hungry buyers can install a USB 3.1 Gen 2 add-in board for 10 Gbps local file transfers. If wireless connectivity is desired over faster network or USB speeds, users can install a QNAP Wi-Fi card to turn the NAS into a wireless access point.
The manufacturer says the devices' snapshot function can help protect users' data from ransomware attacks. The machines have a variety of software to improve productivity, including an IFTTT Agent that lets users make custom links from the NAS to web services like Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. The machines also have OCR functions, the company's Qsirch full-text search application, and Qfiling automatic file-type sorting.
QNAP says the TS-253Be and the TS-453Be are available now, though we didn't see them at any of our favorite e-tailers. We imagine the devices will appear at places like Amazon and Newegg soon. The company didn't provide any pricing information.