QSAN XCubeNAS XN5004T Overview
As the XCubeNAS designation implies, the XN5004T is shaped like a cube, with external dimensions of 177mm x 190mm x 235mm. So while not a perfect cube, it is pretty close. The plastic exterior has a nice gray finish to it, and doesn’t look or feel cheap when compared to a metal-body NAS. In-fact, the gray body accented by multiple black accent lines looks quite stylish. Inside, the the XN5004T packs a dual-core Intel Celeron CPU running at 2.9GHz, which is paired up with 8GB of DDR4 memory. The two included 4GB SO-DIMMs can be replaced with up to 32GB of RAM if you start putting the NAS to work with more robust duties.
Staring straight at the front of the XN5004T we see that the unit is sort of broken up into four quadrants.
In the top left is a small square with a QSAN logo, with the system’s power button just to the right. Below this square is a USB copy button with LED indicator that is used in conjunction with the single USB 3.0 port placed right next to it. The top right section is a blank plastic rectangle with no discerning features. Moving to the bottom left we have another plastic rectangle, but this time it serves a bit of a function. While there are LED status labels on the panel, the real function of this panel is as a cover for the RAM slots and 2.5″ drive bay, which we will cover shortly.
Finally, the four 3.5″ drive bays take up the remainder of the front of the NAS. Each drive tray features a lock at the bottom to secure the hard drives, and when unlocked, a simple press of the bottom section pops the tray handle out for easy removal.
The sides of the XN5004T are quite plain, aside from the removable panel on the left side of the NAS.
By simply inserting the included plastic key into a small and somewhat hidden hole, a portion of the side panel will pop off, revealing the RAM slots and 2.5″ drive bay. The XCubeNAS XN5004T uses standard DDR4 SO-DIMMs, and those in our review sample are Kingston branded sticks.
Moving to the back of the unit we find quite a few connectivity options that help indicate the business-based nature of the XN5004T. Starting at the top left we have a sunken power connector that allows the power cable to sit further within the unit that most standard power supplies. We like this design, but would have loved to see some way of securing the cable to the opening to prevent accidental unplugging. In the top right corner is a half-height expansion slot that can be populated with QSAN’s own XN-TB302 Thunderbolt 3 card for extra speed to external devices, or with a 10GbE or 40GbE network adapter for faster network speeds. Occupying the majority of the back of the case is a 120mm cooling fan that hides behind a stylish fan grill.
Finally, on the right side of the rear panel we have our connectivity options. Up top is a single HDMI port, and though it currently can’t be used for playback of multimedia files, it does serve as a bit of a debugging display option for troubleshooting. Further down we find a pair of 1GbE interfaces, which sit above a grouping of two more 1GbE interfaces and four USB 3.0 slots. These four network connections can be teamed to provide up to 4Gbps of throughput if the rest of your network supports it. Finally there is a standard Kensington lock slot and a recessed reset button for when things go horribly wrong and you need to start from scratch.