The newly or soon to be released Thecus N2560 is a rather unique NAS in that it shows the direction the NAS market is heading. For the longest time, power users and enthusiasts have been building home servers catering to their own personal needs for storage outside the backup drive in the PC.
Having a standalone option like the Thecus N2560 has its benefits in that it can serve up media through the onboard XBMC client straight to your television. Additionally, if you have media devices in rooms across your household, the N2560 has the internal power through its use of the Intel Atom SoC to stream video in HD quality to multiple devices.
Another focus with devices like the N2560 is the "cloud". We have been hearing about the cloud a lot in the last few years, and our Senior Storage Editor, Chris Ramseyer, even wrote one of the best articles on the "cloud" here at TweakTown. Thecus in launching OS 6 for their NAS systems also launched a new "Cloud" app called T-OnTheGo. This application allows you to manage files, read documents in addition to watching video and flipping through pictures straight from your Thecus NAS, while you're on the road.
However, everything isn't peaches and cream with the N2560. The NAS build quality is excellent and what I have come to expect from a brand like Thecus, but the OS that lies within is largely unfinished. Now there is no doubt in my mind that the underlying issues will be worked out with upcoming revisions of ThecusOS 6.
Pricing at this time for the 2-bay N2560 allows for a MSRP of $339 as a diskless solution. Comparable products in market have the QNAP TS-269L priced much higher at $449.99, which makes the Thecus N2560 intriguing to say the least, especially to those looking for an all-in-one solution, at what turns out to be a good price.