Thecus’s N0204 is a small NAS device, which you should be able to place almost anywhere. Its dimensions of 88x63x133mm are anything but intrusive, and should allow for the device to reside in public places like your living room, if you have a use for networked storage there.
Since the NAS box is based on 2.5” hard drives, it is much smaller than other comparable products. As a result, there wasn’t any room left inside the device for a fan. Even still, Thecus wanted to be on the safe side in regard to ventilation, and simply integrated a fan with the included stand.
In addition to the interfaces and control elements we found on the WD MyBook World Edition II (USB 2.0, LEDs), Thecus also offers a USB copy button, used to transfer the contents of a USB 2.0 storage device onto the N0204.
The gigabit networking interface is also located on the rear side of the device, in addition to a second USB port, the power supply jack, and the power button. The rear section also serves as the access point to the hard drives. However, we recommend avoiding the rear USB port, as its implementation is limited to USB 1.1 transfer rates, and hence only 12 Mbit/s.
Free Hard Drive Selection
Thecus does not ship the N0204 with hard drives, giving you free choice to select the hard drive type and capacity. Our 2.5” hard drive charts are a useful guide to hard drive selection for the Thecus N0204.
Removable Frames for HDDs
The maximum capacity for this NAS device is currently reached if two brand new 640GB 2.5” drives are installed, yielding nearly 1.3TB. But these drives are still fairly hard to come by, which means that 1TB distributed across two 500GB drives should be a more attainable balance between cost, capacity, and availability. The 750GB and 1TB 2.5” drives announced by WD will be based on 12.5mm designs, meaning that they might not fit into this Thecus NAS.
Hard drives have to be installed into removable frames, which are made of metal and plastic. Their finish is nice and the only exception to the great impression is the stand, which you should not snap on with too much pressure.