We get many questions about NAS appliances after we publish reviews of small business products. A majority of the questions are about price. At $499 the QNAP TS-421 isn't exactly low cost and it certainly isn't cheap. I wouldn't call the TS-421 an entry-level NAS either since it's packed with many of the same features as QNAP's more expensive parts.
That leads us to the Marvell 2.0GHz CPU at the heart of the TS-421. Clearly it isn't as strong as the Intel Atom processor, but it's fast enough to deliver high definition content to more than one location at the same time.
The Atom powered machines were built to deliver HD content while running SQL with 20+ users connected at the same time. In our single client tests, we still see some performance differences, but when it comes to equal drive bay count units, the differences aren't that great.
I'm really not sure what I'm more excited about, the TS-421 bringing good consumer performance or the new QTS 4.0 software that makes the unit easier to use. Setting up the TS-421 was very easy, the wizard walks you through the initial setup and everything after that is setup logically. Being able to get to your files and folders just by typing //name_of_nas is one of the easiest ways to increase productivity that I can think of.