Given Plextor's continued higher level of quality in their optical writer lineup compared to other major manufacturers who have entered their market, we're a bit surprised when we say Plextor's first entry into the NAS market isn't quite as stellar. However, their PX-EH 250 GB drive certainly is a solid product, and does exactly what it sets out to do. The drive provides inexpensive, reliable storage over a network which is fast enough for both home and business use.
On the positive side, we like the aesthetics of the drive, and we also like that Plextor has managed to keep the drive near silent during operation. The build quality of the unit is far better than the majority of low-cost NAS devices on the market. We're also fond of Plextor's implementation of USB, where you can link up printers and additional USB storage to the PX-EH if needed, allowing it to become the central network storage and printing point for a house or for an office.
On the negative side, we had some difficulties with getting the drive to connect to a simple DHCP network, and Plextor's documentation for fixing issues doesn't seem to be very helpful. At it's worst, the documentation can be frustrating. We're also disheartened by the mediocre performance we saw when coping over large files, as the unit's 100 MBit network interface may often be a bottleneck, in a land where Gigabit networks are becoming more and more mainstream. Unfortunately, this is very much the case for many competing NAS products on the market as well. Maxtor and others also only offer 10/100 speeds but there are offerings from others like Buffalo and Linksys that do support Gig-E in the same $300 price range that we find the new PX-EH.
Nevertheless, given that this is Plextor's first NAS product, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. As of now, the PX-EH is unlikely to stand out in a crowded field, as it doesn't boast any major features over the competition. If they clean up their documentation and web interface to be up to par with the Plextor name and upgrade their interface to Gigabit speeds, we think that their product line could really be able to make a name for itself over time.
|• Sleek, industrial styling
• Web interface with integrated server functions Low Noise
• Well built
• USB ports for Print-Serving and other functionality
• Performs to specifications
|• Somewhat complicated setup
• Lackluster Manual
• Mediocre Performance w/ 10 Base T interface
• No Gigabit Ethernet
• Finicky setup