Price: 511 . 850
Pros: Fast delivery of media; attractive design; easy-to-use Web interface.
Cons: Pricey; wireless connection caused set-up problems; no Mac software; Windows software poor; drives hard to get at.
This model was reviewed as part of our group test of NAS drives.
While clearly aimed at home users, the Aspire EasyStore offers much that will appeal to small studios – such as ease of use, speedy media delivery, appealing design, and the ability to work as a wireless router.
Whether in RAID 0, 1, or 5 mode, the EasyStore is the fastest of any of the NAS devices we’ve looked at here to copy media from, which is unsurprising as it’s designed to be used to stream video and audio.
Nor was it slow when copying media to the device, although its test scores here were behind its main rivals, Iomega’s four-drive StorCenter and Thecus’s three-drive N3200.
The EasyStore’s glossy, black chassis is attractive, and it sports the now-obligatory blue LEDs. The back has an ethernet port and a wireless antenna – but no USB ports for attaching portable drives. The wireless connection is too slow for the EasyStore to be connected to your network that way and it interfered with the setting up of the unit. Another drawback are the drives themsleves, which are fiddly to access and replace.
The included EasySearch software is easily the worst found here. There’s no Mac version – though Mac users can log onto the EasyStore – and it’s a pain to use. It locks up to scan your network every few seconds.
The Aspire EasyStore is also pricey compared to the competition.
Total capacity of review unit: 2TB
Number of drives: 4