Packaging, Contents And Exterior
On the front of the box is a photo of the NAS with its LCD screen activated. You'll also find a short list of features, along with an icon depicting the quad-core Celeron inside. Finally, in the bottom-right corner, there are three icons describing Citrix and VMware compliance, along with DLNA support.
On this side is a multilingual description of the unit's most important functions. Near the bottom-left corner, QNAP provides an online address for its up-to-date HDD/SSD compatibility list. You'll want to check that out before buying storage for your appliance. Finally, there are photos of the device's front and back, along with a useful description of the LED indicators, buttons and I/O ports.
There is a small photo of the NAS on the top of the box, along with its model number and MAC addresses.
When you open the top flap of the box, a welcome note appears, along with various QR codes that take you to websites containing product data. Inside, the appliance itself is protected by huge foam spacers, and is also wrapped in a thick plastic bag.
A small box contains all of the accessories that come with the product, including two Ethernet cables, the AC power cord, keys for the lockable trays and two sets of screws for mounting either 3.5- or 2.5-inch disks. The bundle also includes a quick-start guide that walks you through the configuration process.
Up front, most of the space is devoted to the lockable trays. In the bottom-left corner, there's a power switch, along with the Copy button, which actually surrounds the front USB 3.0 port. Finally, QNAP’s logo resides in the top-left corner. The TS-453 features tray locks for physical security. Any NAS appliance aimed at the SMB space should have these.
There are three LED indicators (Status, USB and LAN) below the two-line LCD screen. A button on the opposite side even allows you to perform several basic administrative tasks: get the NAS' IP address, check on system temperature and so on. The LCD screen deactivates automatically once the start-up or reboot phase finishes, thus keeping power consumption as low as possible.
A small sticker on the top provides the HDD sequence, while another, much larger one depicts the cloud key, which you're prompted to enter at the beginning of the NAS' cloud installation.
Only one of the two sides is ventilated.
On the back, there are two fans. The smaller one belongs to the unit’s PSU, while the larger one (120mm in diameter) cools the hard drive and platform components. On the right side and near the bottom are four Gigabit Ethernet ports, along with a Kensington lock slot. A little higher up, there are two pairs of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. The single HDMI port is above the USB connectivity, and in the top-right corner is the reset switch. It's buried inside the enclosure, so you need a needle (or something else as thin and long) to press it. Surprisingly, the TS-453 Pro doesn’t feature any eSATA ports—most likely because USB 3.0 is more popular and provides similar bandwidth.
The NAS is equipped with four plastic stands that are wide enough to ensure stability. There is also a small label that provides information about this product's power input range.
We removed the trays to take some internal shots. However, we will fully dismantle the NAS later on, so you will have the chance to see more detailed photos of its layout.
The trays support 3.5- and 2.5-inch disks. They're metallic and reflect high-quality construction. Our only criticism is their lack of sound-dampening material. So, you may experience some noise due to hard drive vibrations. Also, the trays aren’t numbered. Really though, the hard drive sequence doesn’t matter unless you're using an SSD for caching alongside mechanical storage.