Have you ever wondered what a PC, NAS, and router have in common? The AOOSTAR R1 may look like your typical mini-PC, but the device doubles as a NAS or router with 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.
The AOOSTAR R1, which features a cylindrical design, measures 6.38 x 6.38 x 7.8 inches (16.2 x 16.2 x 19.8 cm) and weighs a mere 2.2 pounds (1kg). Don't let the small dimensions fool you, though. The device packs enough performance to be your daily driver whether you want to use it as a traditional system, NAS, or router.
The AOOSTAR R1 packs an Intel 13th Generation Alder Lake-N processor, a low-powered variant of Alder Lake. The Intel N100 is a quad-core, quad-thread processor wielding E-cores with a maximum turbo frequency of 3.4 GHz. The Intel N100 is a 6W chip, making it a favorite option for mini-PC manufacturers. It's not the fastest low-powered chip, but it easily outperforms previous Celeron or Pentium parts. A passive heat sink with two power-efficient cooling fans keeps the AOOSTAR R1 cool.
The mini-PC features one SO-DIMM memory slot for a DDR4-3200 memory module and one M.2 2280 NVMe slot. Removing the top cover will give you access to two 3.5-inch drive bays to outfit the device with two high-capacity platter drives to turn it into a NAS. The bays also support 2.5-inch drives if you prefer that form factor. Put a Linux or BSD distribution on the AOOSTAR R1, and you're good to go.
The AOOSTAR R1 can also serve as a home server or router. It has two 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports thanks to the Intel i226V Ethernet controller. Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity are also available via the Intel AX201 wireless module. In addition, the device provides two USB 3,2 Gen 2 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB type-C port, one 3.5mm audio connector, and one DisplayPort 1.4 output.
The barebones AOOSTAR R1 (via Liliputing) sells for $259, whereas the model with 16GB memory, 512GB SSD, and Windows 11 Pro costs $319. However, it's available for preorder for $269 at Amazon for a limited time via a $50 coupon code. Amazon will ship out AOOSTAR R1 orders on October 26. The AOOSTAR N1 Pro, which features the Ryzen 5 5500U, retails for $399 if you need more firepower.
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Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.
The N100 is 4-core, 4-thread because it is Alder Lake-N Efficiency (E) Cores only. Some things to keep in mind if you want to run Linux on something like this (I have a TRIGKEY which is somewhat similar, has the AX101 Wifi and i225v and a single SATA port):Reply
The AX201 Wifi+Bluetooth will only work out of the box with a minimum of Kernel 6.5 (at least, that is what I've found i.e. Ubuntu 23.10); a bunch of the recommended work-arounds involving finding a driver don't actually work on Ubuntu 22.04
The i226v Ethernet controller is great on Ubuntu 22.04 or newer (it's version 4 of the i225v supposedly), in testing via Speedtest with my 1.5 Gbps internet, I'm consistently seeing 1.6 Gbps down-but I haven't tried stressing both NICs at the same time
The NVME on a number of the N100 desktop systems I've looked at is capped at PCIe 3.0 1x which ends up performing at 800-900MB/s in benchmarks-there is a total of 9 PCIe 3.0 lanes available on the N100
The QuickSync video encoding and decoding works great, so for Emby or Jellyfin these little N100 machines make a great media server with transcoding
If it had one more 2,5Gb ethernet port it would have been perfect pfSense box.Reply