ASUStor at CES 2015
We stopped by ASUStor once again this year to see what they've been working on over the past year as well as to see what is coming in 2015. They haven't been around all that long in the grand scheme of things, but they have a lot of expertise in their company as many of their employees are not new to the NAS product line.
At CES they didn't launch any new hardware specifically, but they show us a lot of features of their upcoming ADM software revision. When it comes right down to it, software is really what drives these Network Attached Servers - they are not just for raw storage anymore. Before we jump into the software however, they did show us their two main lines that they are excited about this time around.
They have a great lineup of AS5x0 units that are divided up into two performance lineups based on their processor. The Home/Power user bays in this series are AS5002T, AS5004T, AS5008T and AS5010T that are 2-bay, 4-bay, 8-bay and 10-bay units. These all have dual core Intel Celeron processors with 1GB of DDR3. The Power users/SOHO/SMB products in the 5x0 line are the AS5102T and AS5104T that are 2-bay and 4-bay units. These come with 2GB of DDR3 and have a 2.0GHz Celeron Quad-Core processor.
From there, things get faster and better with the AS700x series. The AS7004T is their current showcase piece with a Core i3-4330 3.5GHz Dual Core CPU and 2GB of DDR3. This unit has lots of power and enough connectivity to make some crazy storage and server stuff happen. ASUStor has options for 10GbE as well as 4x Gigabit connections in some of their products, so there is never any reason for slow file transfers across your network to multiple machines.
On the software side of things, their new ADM 2.3 has a refreshed graphical user interface, a lot of extra network options, full premium audio via HDMI or S/PDIF. They have also put a lot of effort into the mobile side of things as well and have AiFoto, AiSecure, AiData, AiMusic, AiDownload, AiRemote and AiMaster that allows you to access and configure practically everything on your mobile device. The demo was a little bit shaky as the network in the suite was a bit unstable, and some of the software is still in beta. As the software reaches maturity, we'll have a much better idea of how it will perform.
Their new App center "Looks Good" showcases TV Recordings that can be setup and stored via a USB TV Tuner, as well as Media Explorer and Media Converter. In the Media Converter you can have the ASUStor (any version that supports Looks Good) transcode your video to different resolutions that you can then stream over the network or the internet to your mobile device.
ASUStor has come a long way and in my opinion, continues to set the bar for ease-of-use interface that works well and keeps on expanding their features. If you are looking for a new NAS product, their goal is to provide the user with an extra two-bays for the same money as the competition. For example, if you are looking at a 8-Bay QNAP, you could buy a better 10-Bay ASUStor for the same money. More performance, features and value for the same money? Yes please!