We singled out the Ultra HD feature in our introduction, but the truth is: there are several software features that make the AS7004T an exceptional prosumer product. It's easy to get so wrapped up in the extras like transcoding, Ultra HD playback, and mobile access to data that we overlook the core feature. As a storage NAS, this model is the best in its class at this time. The transfer performance that we measured was very good across the board.
Still, NAS products have features that now overshadow the core file transfer and storage of data functions. With hard disks growing in size, NAS companies see the need to offer more features so users don't just plop a few HDDs in a local system and call it a day. Running a desktop system full time consumes a lot of power, collects dust, and is really impractical for running simple background tasks like downloading Torrent files and such. At the same time, doing those tasks while gaming slows the computer, so offloading the tasks actually improves client system performance.
The only real downside is the cost of this unit. At roughly $1100 at the time of writing, the ASUSTOR 7004T exceeds our expectations of price, and not in a good way. Using the latest in processor technology from Intel increases the cost much more than what we expected.
One way to mitigate the cost is to use the NAS for several roles. A high-quality media player that can display Ultra HD will set you back $300. A regular 4-bay NAS for data storage that can sustain 100 MB/s file transfers costs about $600 (we are being generous there). With just two tasks, we took off a significant portion of cost. Other features start plucking bills off with ease, but like other NAS products, you have to need and use the extra features to make them valuable. The media player role adds quite a bit to the value though.
If you don't need the media center functions, then the AS7004T is a bit of a waste. The extra processing power is nice to have, and makes the other functions perform smoothly, but if you don't need it, the additional cost is quite high. If you don't plan to use the AS7004T for the media center functionality, then look at some of ASUSTOR's other product series, and save yourself a few dollars.
PRICING: You can find the ASUSTOR AS7004T for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The ASUSTOR AS7004T retails for $1,099.00 at Amazon.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||98%|
|Bundle and Packaging||97%|
|Value for Money||92%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||96%|
The Bottom Line: ASUSTOR's AS7004T is several products in one. Usually products made to do more than one thing good means they don't do anything well. That wasn't the case this time. This is a near perfect media center and NAS combined.
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