Sticking With What Works
If you're hoping to find new features on the front of the devices, we have to disappoint you. As with the rear of the device, the design of the plastic-covered front is reminiscent of the TS-559 Pro. The new model also comes with a USB 2.0 port and a one-touch copy button. The power button at the lower-left is also in the same location as on the previous model. Ditto for the status, LAN, USB, and SATA LEDs, along with the LCD display and its Enter/Select button, which switches the information shown on the LCD and allows for basic input, such as IP address configuration.
Qnap's deliberate reproduction of the TS-559 Pro's exterior design indicates that the manufacturer intends only to refresh and not to overhaul the product line, as can also be seen with the lockable drive bays. These are also installed vertically into the TS-559 Pro+, following the design of the TS-559 Pro model. Accordingly, the solid disk tray accommodates not only 3.5" hard drives, but also 2.5" drives.
The Interior Is New
If you're looking for fresh features on the TS-559 Pro+, you have to look inside. As already mentioned, the Intel Atom D525 dual-core processor is new. The TS-x59 Pro series used the somewhat older Intel Atom D510 with its clock rate of 1.66 GHz, while the TS-x59 Pro+ series runs at 1.8 GHz thanks to the upgraded processor. A glance into the interior reveals that the TS-559 Pro+ uses the same DDR2 memory as its predecessor. Qnap doesn’t highlight this fact; the product description on its Web site speaks only of 1 GB of RAM, omitting to mention which type of RAM this is. To avoid creating false hopes, we would appreciate a little more transparency in this matter.
However, the question of whether DDR3 RAM would have had a significant effect on data transfer rates is an unresolved one. From a business standpoint, it is fully comprehensible that Qnap does not opt for DDR3, as it would have required a redesigned motherboard. Aside from the fact that DDR2 and DDR3 are supplied with different voltages, they are not pin-compatible. In the end, a new board may have resulted in a more substantial redesign of the NAS system, incurring development costs, which would have probably driven the device beyond its already-steep $1000+ price tag.