QNAP TS-219P II Review (Page 2 of 7)

Page 2 - A Closer Look

Generally speaking, the QNAP TS-219P II has a slim and slick design. Its shell is mainly composed of plastic; with a shiny fingerprint magnet down the left, and QNAP's logo embossed at the center top. Five LED lights are featured on the left side labeled as Status, LAN, USB, HDD1, and HDD2, respectively; from top down. As well, there is a power button, a one-touch copy button, and a USB 2.0 port located near the bottom. Once configured in the web UI, and with an external drive connected to the USB port, the one touch copy button serves as a convenient way to copy data between the TS-219P II and the external hard drive. Next to this area are two hard drive bays; each with a small opening for you to unlatch it from the NAS itself. With the provided screws, either one 3.5" or 2.5" hard drive can be mounted here. One thing I noticed was that it took quite a bit of force for me to pull the trays out. In my personal opinion, it would have been much more convenient if some sort of spring-loaded mechanism is present to do the job instead. Also, the disks trays are not lockable, which is rather unfortunate.

The first thing you may notice when you take a look at the back end of the QNAP TS-219P II is the warranty sticker right at the top. Opening up the TS-219P II would obviously break the seal, thus, voiding the warranty. There really isn't anything special inside anyways, so it's a good idea to break the warranty the day after it expires, if you are really that curious. A 70mm exhaust fan is featured on this side to dissipate hot air out of the system. Situated in the narrow space beside it are two eSATA ports, followed by a Gigabit Ethernet port, and two USB 2.0 ports -- all of which are just above and power input from the external power brick. One thing to note here is that there is also a hole at the bottom left for you to attach a lock (Called a K-lock security slot), just in case you have no other place to leave your QNAP TS-219P II except where it might be easily stolen.

If you are really desperate to take a sneak peak inside the TS-219P II, there are two Philips-head screws -- one on the top, and the other on the bottom. Unscrewing these and sliding one side forward while breaking the warranty seal will get you inside. We will be doing that for you in just a moment, so you don't have to void your warranty.

The bottom features nothing too special, other than the four rubberized feet to reduce vibration noise, increase grip, and reduce surface scratches. A neat array of holes are implemented on the side of the NAS right behind the motherboard for more heat dissipation besides going out the back. A sticker is present in this location as well, but we will just skirt around that, and move on to the next section, haha.

Removing its vertically mounted 3.5" SATA disk trays reveals the connector backpanel. The SATA backplane ports are powered by an external controller, which is connected to the motherboard via the PCIe bus. Since this is a SATA system, all hard drives are hot swappable. Removing the hard drive tray is very simple -- just give it a yank from the opening, and it will come free. The hard disk trays are labeled "HDD1" and "HDD2", so you won't mix up which one is which. Each tray can accommodate either one 2.5" or one 3.5 drive, along with a maximum amount of ventilation openings at the bottom for improved heat dissipation. For the purpose of this review, I am going to use only one Western Digital Caviar Black AALS 500GB to test its performance. The QNAP TS-219P II supports single disk, RAID 0 (Disk Striping), RAID 1 (Disk Mirroring), and JBOD (Linear Disk Volume). If I had set it up in RAID 1, there will be little performance improvement, if at all. If I set it in RAID 0, there might be some improvements, but who runs a file server in RAID 0 anyway? Therefore, in my opinion, a single disk is more than enough to get accurate test results. The only benefits will be either increased storage space or redundancy of data.

Opening up the QNAP TS-219P II, you can see that there is little room for wasted space, with the hard drive bay occupying most of the area. A few centimeters of clearance room can be seen below the rear 70mm fan and next to the hard drive bay. This allows some space between components to reduce heat congestion. Its well placed rear exhaust fan can then easily take out the warm air, and allow cooler air to flow over the mounted hard drives with minimal turbulence noise. The motherboard is mounted with its components facing inwards to take advantage of the airflow generated by the single rear fan.

Taking apart the QNAP TS-219P II isn't all that hard. All it takes is a screwdriver and a couple of minutes of your time to remove the screws. The hard drive bay is pinned down by four screws, and removing these will take you straight to the motherboard itself. If you want to take it a step further, removing a couple of other screws on the side takes the whole motherboard off entirely.

QNAP's TS-219P II Turbo NAS features a Marvell Kirkwood 2.0GHz ARM single core processor, along with 512MB of DDR3 RAM using Hynix H5TQ1G83TFR H9C ICs. As with the SATA controller, QNAP uses a JMicron JM362 for both eSATA ports, and a Genesys Logic GL850G for the USB 2.0 ports. Its Gigabit Ethernet port is powered using the Marvell Alask 88E1310 chip. Everything is cleanly soldered onto the motherboard.

Page Index
1. Introduction and Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface, Part I
4. Configuration and User Interface, Part II
5. Configuration and User Interface, Part III
6. Performance and Power Consumption
7. Final Thoughts and Conclusion