QNAP's entry level NAS models received an upgrade recently with the launch of the TS-x20 and TS-x21 series. Both of therm are based on Marvell CPUs (and the lack of explicit mention of the SoC leads us to believe it is based on the Marvell 6282 which has been around for quite some time). While the x20 series uses a 1.6 GHz version with 512 MB of DDR3, the x21 uses a 2.0 GHz one with 1 GB of DDR3. As such, these models carry twice the amount of memory compared to the corresponding models from last year. The x20 and x21 series have 1,2 and 4 bay models (for a total of 6 new units). The 2 and 4-bay models have hot-swap bays. The TS-421 also has a LCD display in front while the TS-420 doesn't. The TS-120 and TS-220 come in white.

QNAP's NAS OS (TurboNAS firmware) needs a lot of catching up to do in order to compare favorably in terms of user experience, stability and usability with some of the other NAS vendors' offerings in the market. The most exciting part about the announcement of the new NAS models is the launch of a revamped NAS OS (QTS 4.0) available exclusively on the x20 / x21 series for now.

At first glance, the OS seems to be a hybrid version of the Asustor 'iOS' approach and Synology's desktop approach. It allows users to multi-task. Any change made to QNAP's OS with usability in mind is very welcome and we are cautiously excited about QTS 4.0.

In the meanwhile, for other NAS models, firmware version 3.8.3 is scheduled to go out in a week or two. QTS 4.0 beta for older NAS models is expected to be made available free of charge towards the end of May 2013. Business-oriented features such as storage pools and new LVM (logical volume manager) are slated to be added to QTS 4.0 in June. The next few months promise to be exciting for existing and prospective QNAP customers.

Source: QNAP

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  • danjw - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    Yes, but can you have multiple volumes on a drive, yet?
  • smitty123 - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    i don't get why ppl are complaining about the v3.8.2 firmware.

    i think it's super easy and i love it. Heck i chose it over the Synology because i found it pretty simple. The synology desktop interface is overly complicated, disjointed and not helpfull at all and too technical, like they're trying to sound too serious. lol

    i've been in computers for 20 years, i've seen my share of badly coded interfaces, v3.8.2 is a piece of cake, neatly organised and well thought out with just the right amount of technobabble, ie: practically none !

    Sure the boot up and shutdown times could be better. the network transfer speeds could be better too for a lil ts-212, its not bad. i don't plan on doing heavy transfers with it, just hold my stuff i need to stream and the occasional backup at nite.

    Tbh, i'm not sure i want to upgrade to this desktop interface. i'm not that much on it once its setup i leave it as is and go on with my life, yunno ?

    Yet the Qsync and whatever new apps we'll get might get me to switch in the future. Who knows.
  • Eug - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    I specifically didn't buy a QNAP NAS because the models I was interested in were still stuck on 3.8.

    I think QNAP sees the writing on the wall, which is why they're releasing OS 4.0, albeit only on some models at this time.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    LCD -> The "D" in there already stands for display. So no need to talk about "LCD displays". :)
  • extide - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    ATM machine machine machine machine machine machine machine
  • iwod - Friday, May 3, 2013 - link

    After all these years we are still stuck in insanely slow Marvell 6282 chips. I hope with the Custom Design of AMD, there will soon be a low cost x86 specifically designed for NAS market.
    I know there is already an Intel design, but they are just too expensive.
  • Eug - Friday, May 3, 2013 - link

    Atom works reasonably well for this purpose, and there is also the option of PowerPC. In fact, the last NAS I bought uses dual core PPC. Much faster than the ARM options, and significantly lower power than dual-core Atom.
  • pensive69 - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    my gripe with the O/S offered by QNAP and i guess the others in the NAS
    lines is with the helpfulness or lack of it when an error occurs.
    for instance - if you are logged on as admin and a screen pops up
    that says 'Access denied"... you ought to be provided with a
    wizard to resolve the conflct right then and there.
    i find the get-er-done admin paths a bit obfuscated in these boxes.
    for what it's worth we have a few of these, in dedicated NAS applications
    on security server duties, and they work fairly reliably.

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