When it comes to sheer volume of media features, the $320 QNAP TS-251A is unrivaled for the price. It features an HDMI port for direct output (1080p) to a display, as well as a remote so you can navigate the Smart TV-like onscreen interface on said connected display. QNAP’s ambition for this box isn’t to augment your multimedia setup—but to be your setup. Sadly, the 4K transcoding that’s part of QNAP’s multimedia pitch, didn’t fare well in our testing.


The TS-251A is a dual-bay (front-accessible), largely plastic NAS box featuring an Intel Celeron N3060 CPU that ships with either 2GB (our test model) or 4GB of system memory. It also does something we’ve never seen a NAS box do: function as direct-attached storage when plugged into your PC’s USB port. The box may also be set up and configured that way, rather than at the end of an ethernet cable. Nice.

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QNAP TS-251A NAS review: More media features than you can shake a stick at