I would love to see a tricked out installation of something on the ARTiGO A2000. It’s an excellent platform with a tremendous amount of potential. With its speaker out, it could be a music server or perhaps a file server for a more impressive front-end HTPC capable of HD playback. Its low power draw also makes it a candidate for a car PC or perhaps a spare computer in the event of a power outage with only battery backup to keep things up.
The CF slot is capable of DMA mode, which means that the operating system could be installed to the CF, leaving the SATA drives strictly for stored data.
Unfortunately, the VIA ARTiGO A2000 seems to be restricted to the enthusiast-level market. The lack of a CD drive makes installing Windows a difficult proposition for even journyman Windows users. Most folks who would put a Linux distribution on the device are sufficiently knowledgeable to know that Linux can easily be put onto a Flash drive for installation, whereas only the most recent versions of Windows can do that. The process is not easy unless one has Vista, and it’s still not as easy as it would be if VIA simply offered WHS on a Flash drive for sale on its web site.
At the time of writing, the street price of the ARTiGO A2000 is approximately $300.
So, buy or wait? If you’re in the market for a device which you can use as a dedicated storage machine and do not currently have an extra, older computer laying around, and find that other NASes are inadequate for your needs, then the ARTiGO A2000 is certainly one of the best devices out there right now. ThinkComputers gives the VIA ARTiGO A2000 Storage Computer a 9 out of 10 score and our Editor’s Choice Award.
– Low power draw
– Super quiet
– Great embedded platform
– Sound! On a NAS!
– Windows Home Server OS installation is non-trivial
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.