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QNAP TS-453mini NAS Review

Qnap takes a vertical approach to reduce noise, and making for a small office NAS that fits in tighter spaces.

A Closer Look

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The QNAP TS-453mini sells in a retail-friendly package that gives shoppers a detailed look at the product and capabilities.

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Inside, we found the NAS secured in closed-cell foam with extra depth on the corners. The accessories are housed in a separate box, keeping the main unit from getting scratched.

Users also receive a quick-start guide and a manual for the remote control. Yes, we said a remote control is included with the TS-453mini system. This is the first QNAP system we've ever received with a remote control, but not the only one. We have another four-bay Turbo NAS from QNAP that ships with the same RM-IR002 remote.

Scratches should be a concern with the TS-453mini. The system has a piano-black finish that is easily scratched, shows every fingerprint and is nearly impossible to take pictures of. Right out of the box, piano black looks amazing, but it doesn't take long before the mirror effect becomes irritating.

It's mirror-finished, but at the same time it's fragile and susceptible to scratches if you wipe it off with a paper towel. So don't use a paper towel on it. Not only can you scratch the finish, but also small fibers will cling to the finish. It would be a good idea to invest in a lint-free cloth.

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On the front of the system, we found the power button and the one-touch-copy next to the USB 3.0 port. Further up, we found the LED display section that shows individual disk activity as well as network and USB activity. A long, blue LED strip lights up to show that the system is turned on. This strip also blinks when the system is in S3 sleep mode.

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The TS-453mini uses a vertical-drive design that is different from every other QNAP product on the market today. The drives slide into the system from the top. The drive sleds are a tool-less design, so adding disks takes less than a minute each. Air flows from the bottom of the system to the top, where it keeps the disk cool. A top cover gives the system a nice look but also forces the air to make a 90-degree turn before exiting the system. This reduces system noise, working like a muffler on a car — not that the system is loud with the cover off though.

On the bottom, we see the vent where air is captured. This is the same area where the system memory is located. Users can employ a screwdriver or a coin to open the 45-degree turnscrew to access the memory area.

Four rubber feet keep drive vibration from transferring to whatever you have the system sitting on.

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The myQNAPcloud key is printed on a stick and attached to the side of the TS-453mini. The back of the system is where we found a majority of the IO ports.

Moving from left to right on the back of the TS-453mini, we found a power port that connects to a power brick. Four USB ports, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0, hug dual gigabit-Ethernet ports that can be teamed or bonded. A single HDMI 1.4a port on the back expands the system's options with either media center or desktop use.

Chris Ramseyer
Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.