QNAP TS-201 Turbo Station: Features and Setup
When compared to the TS-101, the TS-201 is equipped with many of the same features, including One Touch Copy, Web, File and Print services as well as Jumbo Frame Gigabit and BitTorrent support. The two major differences between each system is the TS-201's capacity for a second hard drive and its lack of eSATA support. Additionally, the TS-201 not only supports a second hard drive, they are hot swappable, allowing for hard drive removal without shutting down the system. This can be a handy feature when the need arises to change a hard drive.
The design of the TS-201 Turbo Station is a bit more involved than the TS-101, although it is no more difficult to set up. The main unit is shipped with its face plate separate, so the unit's drive trays are readily accessible for hard drive installation. With the loosening of two screws per drive tray, the trays easily slide out of the TS-201's body. Next, the hard drives are mounted to the frame using the screw holes on the underside of each drive. Once complete, the drive trays slide easily back into place with minimal force. Once in place, tighten the tray's screws and the system is ready to be set up. The last step is to mount the front bezel with four mounting screws provided.
The rear of the unit sports a standard power connector, reset button, Gigabit LAN port, dual USB 2.0 ports and K-Lock Security Slot for theft prevention. This unit also sports active cooling through the use of an 80mm fan. The fan is rather quiet and only detectable when it revs up for a second or two during normal operation. When we shift focus to the front of the TS-201, the bezel sports a USB 2.0 port and One Touch Copy Button as well as a complete collection of LED Status indicators including USB, Status, HDD1, HDD 2 LAN and Power.
While setup was just as simple as the TS-101, we did encounter a few issues that count against an otherwise impressive unit. First and foremost, the retail box is labelled "Hot Swappable" in large bold letters, yet this is the only place we saw this feature mentioned. We scanned the quick start guide and full PDF manual and saw no explanation of the proper usage of this feature. Furthermore, this only benefits users when configured in RAID 1 (mirroring). If the drives are in a RAID 0 or Linear configuration, removing a drive while running is not recommended and will lock the unit. Oddly, the only thing we saw in the manual was if you have a hard drive issue, shut the system down and call QNAP support for assistance.
An additional issue we encountered was the unit's sharp edges. When testing the "Hot Swap" function, pulling tray 1 resulted in a skinned knuckle. Ideally, QNAP should make a better effort to ensure that edges are properly rounded to prevent unnecessary personal injury.