Ignorance is bliss, but once you know, you know. The girlie looking NAS actually has more than just a nice outer shell. I'm actually a bit surprised, it's like finding a hemi in a Beatle - it goes against all stereotypes we've come to expect in a NAS appliance.
There are a few drawbacks, though. LaCie doesn't have a hundred software add-ons like some of the other NAS manufacturers offer. I've always said the primary purpose of a NAS is storing data, so as long as you don't need to download with ten different P2P networks, while building a website with eight different protocols all at the same time, then this product will serve its purpose. LaCie's new 3.2 firmware adds new features so this may be an area the company plans to expand over time.
Aside from the performance delivered, the 5big NAS Pro's biggest selling point is the price. At less than $500 in a diskless configuration, the 5big comes in at a lower price than QNAP's TS-569L and nearly as low as Thecus' N5550.
New to NAS users should opt for a system with drives preinstalled from the factory and LaCie has two options for you, 10TB and 20TB. The software is easy enough to configure, but sometimes it's nice to just buy a product that's actually plug and play. The 10TB model we tested this week offers just that.