Acer Aspire EasyStore
Easy and speedy
- Fast delivery of media, attractive design, easy-to-use Web interface
- Pricey, wireless connection caused set-up problems, no Mac software, Windows software poor, drives hard to get at
The Aspire EasyStore is pricey compared to the competition, but it is fast and easy to use.
Price$ 1,299.00 (AUD)
While clearly aimed at home users, the Aspire EasyStore offers much that will appeal to small studios — such as ease of use, speedy media delivery, appealing design, and the ability to work as a wireless router.
Whether in RAID 0, 1, or 5 mode, the EasyStore is the fastest of any of the NAS devices we looked at recently to copy media from, which is unsurprising as it's designed to be used to stream video and audio.
Nor was it slow when copying media to the device, although its test scores here were behind its main rivals, Iomega's four-drive StorCenter and Thecus's three-drive N3200.
The EasyStore's glossy, black chassis is attractive, and it sports the now-obligatory blue LEDs. The back has an Ethernet port and a wireless antenna — but no USB ports for attaching portable drives. The wireless connection is too slow for the EasyStore to be connected to your network that way and it interfered with the setting up of the unit. Another drawback are the drives themselves, which are fiddly to access and replace.
The included EasySearch software is easily the worst found here. There's no Mac version - though Mac users can log onto the EasyStore - and it's a pain to use. It locks up to scan your network every few seconds.
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First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
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