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Qnap's Tiny Portable NAS Crams in Four SSDs and Dual 2.5GbE

Qnap
(Image credit: Qnap)

Qnap has introduced its new portable NAS designed primarily for laptop users and mobile workers who need to carry loads of data, but don't need extreme performance storage while on the go. The Qnap TBS-464 NASbook houses up to four M.2-2280 SSDs, weighs less than a kilogram, and you can use it to store data and backups, or it can serve as a cache for data that's stored in the cloud. Additionally, you can also use it as a media server. 

Qnap's TBS-464 M.2 NVMe SSD NASbook is based on Intel's quad-core Celeron N5105/N5095 system-on-chip (Jasper Lake) that combines low power consumption with decent performance and up-to-date multimedia decoding/encoding capabilities. The device also comes with 8GB of DDR4 soldered-down memory. 

The portable NAS supports up to four M.2-2280 SSDs with a PCIe 3.0 x2 interface, and you can connect to a network using two 2.5GbE ports. The unit also has two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI 2.0 outputs (supporting up to 4Kp60 resolution) and an IR sensor.

(Image credit: Qnap)

Four M.2 SSDs can store up to 32TB of data, which is formidable for a device that only measures 30 × 230 × 165 mm and weighs in at 1.7 pounds (800 grams). However, the TBS-464 isn't fast primarily because of its 2.5GbE network connectivity. With a single port active, Qnap rates the NASbook for up to 287MB/s during downloads and up to 294MB/s during uploads, but it can hit 574 / 586 MB/s (respectively) with port trunking enabled with the two 2.5GbE ports. That's slightly faster than high-performance SATA SSDs. However, the network interface introduces a bottleneck, so you would probably prefer a DAS with a Thunderbolt 3/4 or USB4 interface if you need high read and write speeds.

Like other NAS from Qnap, the TBS-464 M.2 NVMe SSD NASbook is based on the QTS operating system (version 5.0 in this case) and therefore can run all the apps the company designed for its other NAS devices. Given the TBS-464's positioning, Qnap ships the NAS with the KoiMeeter app for enabling video conferencing and wireless presentations for small businesses and remote workers. In addition, the NAS can work as Plex Media Server and can stream content to compatible mobile and media streaming devices.

Qnap has not announced the TBS-464 NASbook's pricing or exact launch date. However, the company already lists the product on its website and offers support for the device, so we expect it to hit the market shortly.

  • htwingnut
    That looks like it could be a great little Linux or Windows box if you can install your own OS.

    In any case a few things that are questionable:
    2.5GbE ports. Great and all, but why not include a 10G SFP+ port? 4x NVMe drives will easily saturate even a 10G line.
    No Thunderbolt? Would be a great fast DAS but limited by USB 3.2 isn't much better than the 2.5GbE ports.
    No support for ECC RAM. This day and age, especially a device intended for data storage, should support and include ECC RAM
    Non expandable RAM. 8GB should be plenty but adding room for more is always welcome.Having a box that is likely expensive with this much super fast storage is sadly bottlenecked and crippled. Seems like they want you to use it as an independent device with USB 2.0 ports and dual HDMI ports. I'm not sure exactly what to think of it to be honest.
    Reply
  • Peter Buelow
    htwingnut said:
    That looks like it could be a great little Linux or Windows box if you can install your own OS.

    In any case a few things that are questionable:
    2.5GbE ports. Great and all, but why not include a 10G SFP+ port? 4x NVMe drives will easily saturate even a 10G line.
    No Thunderbolt? Would be a great fast DAS but limited by USB 3.2 isn't much better than the 2.5GbE ports.
    No support for ECC RAM. This day and age, especially a device intended for data storage, should support and include ECC RAM
    Non expandable RAM. 8GB should be plenty but adding room for more is always welcome.Having a box that is likely expensive with this much super fast storage is sadly bottlenecked and crippled. Seems like they want you to use it as an independent device with USB 2.0 ports and dual HDMI ports. I'm not sure exactly what to think of it to be honest.

    I think this is gonna be pretty expensive to make a general purpose PC. It doesn't really have PC specs. However, without some of the extras that I find silly (IR for a NAS?), this does a great job of being a useful personal use NAS that could be hacked into a small home rack. I am really interested in this so I can do what I'm doing today with my 7 year old NAS, but finally with NVMe. Hope it hits a price point I can stomach.
    Reply
  • pixelpusher220
    Admin said:
    Qnap's NASbook TBS-464 houses four M.2-2280 SSDs and two 2.5GbE ports.

    Qnap's Tiny Portable NAS Crams in Four SSDs and Dual 2.5GbE : Read more
    Wouldn't there be thermal issues with 4 NVMe's in such a small plastic case? I'm assuming there's not active cooling involved here....
    Reply
  • htwingnut
    Peter Buelow said:
    I think this is gonna be pretty expensive to make a general purpose PC. It doesn't really have PC specs. However, without some of the extras that I find silly (IR for a NAS?), this does a great job of being a useful personal use NAS that could be hacked into a small home rack. I am really interested in this so I can do what I'm doing today with my 7 year old NAS, but finally with NVMe. Hope it hits a price point I can stomach.

    I guess I was just thinking from a hobbyist perspective. I'm always interested in turning hardware into a general purpose PC just to see if I can.

    I think it's great in concept. My concern is with I/O. USB 3.2 Gen 1 is 5 Gbps and ethernet is 2.5Gbps so you essentially have performance of a SATA SSD (500-600MB/sec) using 4x NVMe drives in a RAID config where you can theoretically achieve at minimum 8000 MB/sec sequential. If nothing else, Thunderbolt would have made a great option to use as a DAS. And/or use SATA M.2 SSD's instead of NVMe. So I just am having a hard time wrapping my head around a use case for this device.

    pixelpusher220 said:
    Wouldn't there be thermal issues with 4 NVMe's in such a small plastic case? I'm assuming there's not active cooling involved here....

    I hope there is some active cooling. There's ventilation slots at the sides, but doesn't seem it'd be sufficient for passive cooling. Then again, since external I/O is restricted to 5Gbps USB or 2.5Gbps ethernet, the SSD's won't be working that hard at any given time. I guess during a data scrub might be problematic. I'm sure there will be a full evaluation/review/teardown shortly after it's released.
    Reply