Asustor AS3102T 2-bay NAS Review 0

Asustor AS3102T 2-bay NAS Review

Value and Conclusion

  • The Asustor AS3102T retails for $259.
  • Affordable price
  • Good performance with both open and encrypted file transfers
  • Low power consumption
  • Silent operation
  • Hardware-transcoding engine
  • 4K multimedia playback support
  • HDMI 1.4b port
  • Folder-based encryption (but no option for volume encryption)
  • USB 3.0 support (and front USB 3.0 port)
  • Four camera licenses for free
  • Easily set up and richly featured surveillance application
  • LooksGood and SoundsGood applications add a ton of multimedia capability
  • Night mode for LED indicators
  • Infrared receiver
  • 3 year warranty
  • RAM isn't expandable
  • It doesn't feature a hot-swappable HDD design
  • Awkward position of the power button
  • The Storage Manager app crashed several times when I tried to remove a volume
  • Still no options for widgets, and you cannot re-size windows in ADM
A good-looking, budget-centric NAS from Asustor, the AS3102T packs a fresh Intel Braswell CPU that allows it to handle up to 4K content playback and provides it with good network-transfer speeds with encrypted files. Intel's N3050 CPU is highly efficient, and as such, the AS3102T also consumes very little power, making it an ideal choice for around-the-clock usage. The advantages of this product also include its bundled HDMI 1.4b port, which is essential for 4K content playback, USB 3.0 compatibility, its very silent operation, and richly featured OS, which Asustor is constantly updating and adding new features to. Asustor is also the only NAS vendor to provide four free camera licenses with even their mainstream models, or to back their products with a three year warranty where the competition only provides two years with even their high-end models. The best aspect of this product is definitely its high performance-per-dollar ratio, which we believe will make it claim a good portion of the market pie in this category.

Naturally, like every product, this one has some drawbacks as well. For starters, I didn't appreciate the fact that it doesn't feature a hot-swappable design. Although many users will install their HDDs to never remove them again, I would like to have the option to hot-swap HDDs just in case something goes wrong and one has to be replaced. In addition, I can't help but wonder why Asustor chose to install the power switch into such an awkward position. Asustor should find a way to install it at the front, where it would be much more conveniently placed. Finally, the OS needs some fixes and updates since I ran into problems once I tried to remove the RAID array. I had to restore the NAS to its default settings in order to do so, which reminded me of the first days after ADM's initial release since there was no option to remove a RAID array. Asustor should look into this matter ASAP and fix it; that is, in case it hasn't already been fixed since another OS update promising significant performance improvements, among others, was made available by the time I finished this review. There is also the fact that the AS3102T's RAM total cannot be increased since 2 GB can set the limits in some demanding scenarios. However, non-upgradeable memory is a common thing in this price category, and these custom-tailored Linux distributions don't need much memory to run properly. This NAS's strong point is its ability to playback 4K content properly; however, you might run into problems if you run other demanding services in the background while watching 4K videos, as such a usage scenario will result in noticeable frame drops. Intel's N3050 CPU might include a hardware transcoding engine, but it isn't strong enough to effortlessly playback 4K content while being taxed elsewhere, though at this price point, you can't be that picky. To conclude, the AS3102T is an affordable NAS with a nice performance-per-dollar ratio, and it uses quality components, including a good power adapter by Delta Electronics.