NAS shoot-out: QNAP TS-659 Pro II Turbo NAS

The QNAP NAS leads the pack with a smooth Web GUI and excellent performance

The QNAP Turbo NAS became my favorite during the testing. What this unit lacks in special cloud features (see the Iomega and Netgear reviews), it makes up in performance and solid functionality. My feeling is that the QNAP would be best suited to a company that has a little more tech knowledge on hand, so the staff could take advantage of all that this box can do. The hardware is solid, and setup and administration are well documented and easy to manage, but with all of the functionality that this box offers, I'm not sure I'd give it to a nontechnical business user.

QNAP even does an excellent job of packaging the system. The outside of the box helpfully lists all the specifications of the product -- hardware, software, and file services -- and when you open the lid, the three-step process of setting up the NAS (without any PC) is right there for you to follow. QNAP even includes two Ethernet cables -- that's right, two Ethernet cables. Sure, it seems like a small point, but let me ask you this: How would it feel to spend $3,000 or $4,000 for a NAS device that boasts dual-gigabit Ethernet ports, and then you open the box and find only one cable? That's like opening a Cracker Jack box to find no prize.

I received the QNAP TS-659 Pro II with six 2TB drives (Western Digital RE4). Like the other manufacturers, QNAP provides a hard drive compatibility list on its website. I give QNAP another star for breaking down this list into business- and consumer-grade hard drives. If you want to use 3TB hard drives, Hitachi and Seagate are the only options. One disappointment: Although QNAP touts its support for SATA III (6Gbps) drives, the unit arrived with SATA II (3Gbps) drives. I would have liked to see how the box performed with the faster disks.

QNAP TS-659 Pro II Turbo NAS: Hardware considerations
The QNAP TS-659 Pro II is solidly built, and you might even call it stylish. You could place it in any business setting and no one would bat an eye. The unit's fan ran quietly, but I noticed a little more hard drive noise than in some of the competitors. No doubt that's partly due to the hard drives being directly accessible from the front of the unit, rather than hidden behind a door. Even without a door, each of the hot-swappable drive trays can be locked.

The unit's LCD has Select and Enter buttons that allow you to interact with the unit to make changes. This proved to be a handy feature during my testing, but it took several tries for me to understand how to navigate the menus with just two buttons. The front of the unit also has the power button, the standard LED status indicators, a USB 3.0 port, and a backup button.

Test Center Scorecard
  30% 30% 20% 10% 10%  
QNAP TS-659 Pro II Turbo NAS 8 9 9 7 8


Very Good

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