Generally, when I think of a NAS, I think of computer which has been stripped of any input/output devices and is really little more than a hard drive on a motherboard with a network port. I liken it to a motorcycle compared to the car which is a desktop computer: only the necessities of storage, network, and processing power. The VIA ARTiGO storage computer is more the car than the motorcycle, but is aimed at the motorcycle-NAS-market. Powered by a VIA C7 processor on a Nano ITX motherboard, the ARTiGO A2000 desires to fill a need which cannot be met by shrinkwrap, walled garden NAS devices from Synology, QNAP, D-Link, Buffalo, and the like. ThinkComputers checks out the device to see how it fares.
Features & Specifications
CPU: 1.5GHz VIA C7-D processor
Chipset: VIA VX800 Unified Digital Media IGP chipset
Memory Support: 1 x DDR2 SO-DIMM Socket (up to 2 GB)
Hard Disk Support: 2 x 3.5″ SATA-II Bootable SSD, 1 x CompactFlash socket (supports DMA mode)
Operating System Support: Windows XP/Vista, Linux
USB Ports: 3 x USB 2.0 ports (1 on the front panel)
LAN Port: 1 x Gigabit RJ-45 LAN port with LED
Audio: Built-in high definition audio controller
Audio Ports: 1 x MIC/Line-in, 1 x Line-out
Display Port: 1 x VGA port
Front LED: LAN active, LAN speed, power, HDD active, WLAN active
System Cooler: 8 cm low-noise ball-bearing fan
Dimensions: 5.3″ x 4.5″ x 10.2″ / 135 x 115 x 259 mm (W x H x D)
Wireless: LAN IEEE-802.11b/g (optional module)
Power: 100~240 V AC/DC adapter
The VIA ARTiGO A2000 arrives in a primarily white box which makes it look more like an appliance than a fully-capable computer. The front of the box highlights the unit’s SATA II ports, low noise factor, low power draw, solid capacitors, Gigabit LAN, and CF card slot. The rear similarly highlights these features, but has a short text blurb saying that the unit is a “perfect fit for home download applications, providing ample storage space in an energy-efficient, compact, low-noise chassis.”
The side of the box shows off the aforementioned specs, contents, and UPC. The package contains the VIA ARTiGO A2000 barebone storage PC system unit, a setup CD, eight HDD screws, a power cord, an A/C adapter, and an installation guide.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.