Asustor was born in 2011, under the leadership of Shawn Shu and the president of the Asus group. Its first NAS, launched in 2012, was a real success, while winning many accolades. The company has since launched many other models. The AS5102T is one of the last references added to the catalog and it arrived at my place the week behind.
As usual, my test will be divided into two parts. This handling will focus primarily on the technical sheet of the NAS, its design, its ergonomics and its implementation. We will also see how to configure it.
The full test will be published in a few weeks, with a focus on the performance of the device but also on its flexibility and therefore on the various functions offered by the on-board platform.
First of all, we are going to look at the data sheet of the NAS in order to put things straight.
The AS5102T is powered by an Intel Celeron processor made up of four cores clocked at 2 GHz, with a Burst Mode capable of going up to 2.41 GHz. The on-board RAM does not exceed 2 GB (SO-DIMM DDR3L) but it will be perfectly possible to disassemble the box to change the modules.
Be careful, however, because the NAS has only two slots, with three possible configurations: 1 GB + 1 GB, 2 GB + 2 GB or 4 GB + 4 GB.
On this model, there are also two racks which will be able to accept hard disks in the format 2.5 ″ or 3.5 ″ in SATA II or SATA III. If you feel like it, you can even opt for SSD.
The list of compatible discs can be found at this address .
The NAS cooling system relies on a 70mm fan. Also note that the device is equipped with an infrared receiver. It will therefore be possible to control it using a universal remote control.
The case is relatively compact (163.5 x 108 x 230 mm), it does not weigh more than 2 kg without the discs. If you want to know more about it, I refer you to the technical sheet of the device, on the manufacturer's website .
Price side, it will take about 430 euros.
Packaging, Design & Connectivity
The box is quite compact and rather traditional. It has many visuals and it highlights the main strengths of the device.
No big surprise on the content. In addition to the NAS, you will find an installation CD, power cord, AC adapter, RJ45 cable, and screws for 2.5 ″ or 3.5 ″ drives.
It will also be possible to take an optional infrared remote control.
If you have the previous model at home, then you will not be disoriented because Asustor has chosen to use the same box. The AS5102T sets the bar very high with a magnificent brushed aluminum dress and extremely neat finishes.
The ergonomics of the case go straight to the point. On the front side we will find the two racks with a locking system and LEDs that will give us an overview of the activity of the disks. The power button sits on the top, left, and dominates other lights and a front USB 3.0 socket.
The other ports are placed at the back and there, as much to say it clearly, Asustor did not do things by half. Far from it even since we find:
- 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
- 2 USB 3.0 ports (+1 on the front).
- 2 USB 2.0 ports.
- 2 eSATA ports.
- 1 S / PDIF audio output.
- 1 HDMI output.
Not bad is not it ? Certainly, and rare are the NAS to go this far.
The advantage here is that the AS5102T can find its place near the home router, of course, but also next to the television. You just need to plug it into one of its HDMI sockets to deploy its “media center”. We are really on a very flexible solution.
Setting up the NAS is not really a problem. Just plug the right cables into the right ports. Then after powering it on, the device will install the files it needs to run.
It will take a few minutes for the operation to come to an end.
Next comes the configuration step. There are four different methods:
- Installation by CD, from the supplied disc.
- Installation via the web, by entering the NAS address in your browser.
- Installation using direct connection.
- Installation from the AiMaster mobile app.
I opted for the latter solution, by installing the tool on the Galaxy S6 Edge which was loaned to me by Samsung. After all, you might as well combine business with pleasure.
The solution is extremely well thought out. After connecting the terminal to the home WiFi network, all you need to do is press a button to start automatic detection of the AS5102T. It will then appear in the list and we will just have to tap on it to start the wizard.
Two choices will be available to us. It will be possible to opt for automatic or manual installation. In the first case, the assistant will take care of everything for us and we will have nothing to do except to create an Asustor account. In the second, we will have to choose the RAID, set the time zone of the device or even indicate the DNS that we want to use.
Managing RAID is a real treat to use. AiMaster can even display the storage space that we can enjoy depending on our choice and our disks.
I was pleasantly surprised with the tool. You don't have to be a connoisseur to use it and anyone – even my baker – can configure their NAS using the solution.
The AS5102T is clearly an atypical product, and terribly attractive. Its great strength, without context, is its flexibility.
If it will be possible to use it to store or back up our data, we will also be able to convert it into a real “media center” in its own right by connecting it directly to our television and our sound system. Note also that XBMC / Kodi is one of the many applications available on the manufacturer's store.
I was also pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to set up.
Contrary to what one might think, Geeks are not the only ones who need a reliable storage medium and this is good news because the solution offered by Asustor is suitable for all audiences, even the less gifted. .
In short, for the moment, the results are rather positive.
My next article will focus mainly on the platform developed by the manufacturer, and on the raw performance of the NAS. In the meantime, here is a video presenting the beast, in real life.
As happiness never comes alone, Asustor and GrosBill have just launched a series of promotions on several of the brand's NAS.