The N2800 wasn't as blisteringly fast as the N2200XXX in out file transfer tests. It managed a little over 79MB/sec in our large file read test, dealing with a bunch of 1GB+ video files. Still, the fastest result on test was only just over 92MB/sec, recorded by both the N2200XX and Synology DS212+.
Writing the same data to the N2800 saw the NAS come second in the graphs, but again slower than its predecessor at 84MB/sec compared to 99.6MB/sec. Writing our demanding 5GB folder of 5000 small files, the N2800 was just a couple of MB/sec off the fastest result, at 21.3MB/sec and again a little slower than the N2200XXX, while reading the same data resulted in a near-identical result, this time noticably faster than the N2200XX although slower than Synology's recent efforts.
Click to enlarge
The N2800 is expensive, there's no getting away from that. At £300 it's 10 per cent more expensive than Synology's flagship dual-bay NAS, the DS212+
, which is faster, much quieter and easier to use. Noise is our main concern with the N2800 too. With it's main trump card being the use of the XMBC interface and all that it brings, there's a bigger need than ever for the NAS to be quiet while your watching videos on your TV.
Click to enlarge
Sadly, the N2800 is one of the loudest NAS boxes we've heard, but if you're hooking it up to your PC by way of an HDMI cable, you'll have few options to store it away to mask the noise. There are also numerous other options with regards to streaming media and providing the usual functions associated with a NAS box. With XMBC being freeware, there's also the option of building a cheap PC to do the same job. FreeNas is another option, while the same amount of cash can net you a WDTV Live with Netflix and BBC iPlayer support and something like a Synology DS212j
The latter in particular is a pretty potent combination, especially with Synology also making great strides in the cloud storage and streaming arenas, with it's UI and associated features feeling just that little bit more polished. As it stands, then, the N2800 is a solid effort, with the idea as a whole offering a lot of promise. However, it's a little too noisy for our liking, especially if it's keen on sitting under your TV. We will, though, be keeping a close eye on Thecus' development both of the XMBC module and firmware for the N2800 as we think it's on to something here.