This one is, like every other QNAP NAS, of a high-build quality and sports a brushed, metal chassis, while the competition uses cases solely made of plastic. Only the front side of the TS-869L is made of plastic, but it still matches the rest of the chassis well. The only spot that looks strange is the area that the LCD screen normally resides in, which is, in this case, simply left empty. The on/off button, copy buttons, and the front USB 2.0 port are all at the front. You can set the function of the copy button, which literally surrounds the port, through the software bundle (e.g. copy the contents of the USB external disk to NAS storage).
We find two stickers on the top: one for the used Atom processor and another one mentioning the sequence of the HDDs.
There is only a vent on one of the two sides. There was apparently no need for vents on both sides.
Almost all I/O ports, including two USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, two eSATA, and two gigabit Ethernet ports, can be found on the rear. There are, similar to TS-x69 Pro units, VGA and HDMI ports, with the latter being reserved for future use. The two 120mm diameter fans take most of the rear side's real estate, and the smaller 40mm fan is used to cool down the PSU. Finally, there is a Reset switch that restores the NAS to its factory defaults right below the VGA port, and a K-Lock security slot resides in the top, left corner.
A look at a NAS's interior with all caddies removed is always interesting. The PCIe expansion card that holds all SATA ports is simply huge.
The caddies are numbered and can house both 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs. You will find all required screws in the bundle. Contrary to the Pro units, these caddies do not feature locks.