Manufacturer: QNAP UK Price (as reviewed):£145.84 (inc VAT) US Price (as reviewed):$277.00 (ex tax)
QNAP has a long-standing reputation for making excellent NAS boxes so both the TS-210 and TS-219P we tested recently had a lot to live up to. The cheaper TS-210 has an 800MHz Marvell CPU while the TS-219P is equipped with a 1.2GHz processor. The TS-219P also has twice the amount of DDR2 RAM – 512MB as opposed to 256MB, although both models have 16MB of flash memory.
Click to enlarge
While both QNAP NAS boxes use the same web interface, physically, they’re very different. In short, the TS-210 is pretty much a no-frills NAS box with three USB 2 ports, while the TS-219P has hot-swappable bays and all sorts of other extras, including a metal body and more rugged construction. The build quality of the TS-210 is good, though, and its 60mm fan is extremely quiet.
The web interface is a dream to use and second only to that included with the Synology DS210+. It’s well laid out and configuring each of its features is straightforward. This is an important factor, as there are so many features that it’s easy to get lost. The home page includes links to popular features such as FTP and iTunes server setups, and the download station.
The TS-210 also includes good support for Bit-Torrent downloads, including an application called Qget which can capture torrent downloads from your PC. Most features have URL links to the extremely helpful QNAP forums and Wikipedia pages if you need tips on how to get them working. Despite all these options, the web interface is still snappy and responsive.
User Interface - Click to enlarge
This particular NAS box also makes a big song and dance about iSCSI. This allows you to allocate portions of an existing volume as targets. In the speed stakes, the TS-210 lagged behind the more expensive TS-219P and both Synology NAS boxes in all the tests. However, it was still streets ahead of most of the other NAS boxes we've tested. For example, it averaged 35.4MB/sec in the large file-reading test. The TS-210 is an excellent example of how easy a NAS box should be to configure and use. It’s only let down by its unexceptional transfer rate.