Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 Review and Ratings

 

Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 Review and Ratings-Network-attached storage (NAS) devices tend to come in one of two form factors. The first type is single-drive units not upgradable, which usually enjoys the users home. The other NAS devices that can accommodate multiple user upgradable hard drive, designed for advanced home users and small businesses. What is the NAS device is common, however, they use a streamlined version of the Linux OS for control units and its browser-based user interface.

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Some NAS devices, However, to take a completely different approach, through the use of a more stable OS based on a version of Windows Server 2003. Come in all shapes and sizes, from single units-drive multiple-drive device, these devices based on Windows Home Server NAS and available from manufacturers such as Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Niveus, and Pace Micro. (We recently looked in the $699.99, based on Windows Home Server HP MediaSmart Server EX495.) The advantage that a NAS based on Windows Home Server is a more traditional Linux-OS based NAS is questionable, as many of the functionality is the same. In addition, a number of software add-ins (free and otherwise) is immediately available for Windows Home Server OS.http://lenovoreview.com/lenovo-ideacentr…0-review-ratings/

 

Specs of the LWith noted that more like a nettop PC, Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 is actually a device based on Windows Home Server NAS. The D400 is powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom 230 processor and 1 GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. The D400 is certainly larger size than some nettops, almost cubic and measuring 8.3 x 7.9 x 8.2 inches. It has a black metal chassis with a black-and-orange-plastic front bezel, which includes a translucent front cover that swings away to reveal the four user accessible (hot-swappable) 3.5-inch SATA drive bays.

The D400 will come in two versions: one with a single 1TB hard drive ($499.99), and another with two 1TB hard drive ($599.99), for a total of 2TB of storage. States in the Lenovo D400 that fits up to a total of 8 TB of internal storage. A total of five USB ports and one eSATA port can be used as storage of additional server, or for server backup. We had a chance to see the 2TB version of the D400, with the bottom two drive bays populated. You can add additional drives to install them with the included tool-less drive trays and then running the Add the Hard Drive wizard.

Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 Review and Ratings

Before you can add a drive or even use the D400, though, you must first set it up, which can be time-consuming and test. When the D400 is powered on and connected to your local network, you perform the initial setup using the installation CD of the Client Software that logged on to a Windows-based PC. This step installs the application Windows Home Connector onto the client PC and then made attempts to initialize the server. Part of the initialization process involves the server downloading and installing available updates OS, and any Windows PC does. Unfortunately, as we experienced in the HP MediaSmart Server EX495, stalled the D400 during the update procedure. Instead of aborting method, we allow the device to sit in this State for some time. When we returned, it seems the setup was successfully completed, but once we are logged onto the server for the first time and perform a manual update, we realized that the update nothing happens — the device was triggered of Download and install updates to 83. We have to go through three more rounds of updates and a few server reboots before the D400 is fully updated, within the 94 that all updates.

When Windows Home Connector software is installed on a client PC, automatically set the back up server clients each day at midnight — you can always change the schedule, as well as perform the backup manually. The backup client has full system backup, and you do not have the ability to exclude the file or folder. You can restore individual files and folders using the software Windows Home Connector, or the image of the entire hard drive of a client PC at boot time from the other Computer restore CD, then copy the files back- up back from the server down to the client. (It is also called when a “bare-metal”.)

Windows Home Connector software allows the client to access the server shares folder and configure the server using the Home Server Connector, which is the essence of a remote connections to the server in a dedicated window. Using Windows Home Connector, you can manage user server, client backup, and share access to the folder. You can also enable media streaming server for music, pictures, and Videos folders, as well as enable the remote access server and open the iTunes server. To access the media server folder using Windows Media Center on a client, you also need to manually install these app Windows Media Center Connector on the client PC.

Except D400 in iTunes to enable Server, everything mentioned so far is the common courses in any system of Windows Home Server. Lenovo is not much that the default OS, but it includes some useful extra at the D400. On the client side, the D400 include Lenovo HomeServer EasyAccess application (which is installed manually from the installation CD). The app automatically map a drive letter to the root directory of the server, and it also creates a shortcut for uploading to the server folders default, which is added to the menu that appears whenever you right-click a file or folder. And at least that’s what should be done; for some strange reason, any Windows client we installed the software on, we don’t get the Lenovo HomeServer EasyAccess app to view server. After consulting with Lenovo and unsuccessfully trying to some suggested fixes, we come to perform a factory reset on the server and starting the whole install process again. With that the downloading and installing of all 94 update manually and sitting through multiple reboots the server.

The D400 have lights add-in, allowing you to set a schedule for when the D400 must sleep and awake. For clients to wake the server if it is asleep, you must also install the light Client Utility on the client PC. (The light add-is a free plug-in, readily available on the Internet for any user of Windows Home Server.)

Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 Review and Ratings

Connections on the back of the unit include Gigabit Ethernet, one eSATA, and four USB 2.0 ports. (The small hole to the left of the eSATA port is the device’s reset button.)

Perhaps the most unexpected features of the D400 is its ability to back up the entire contents of a USB drive with the touch of a button. Behind mounted in front the door swing, under the front panel, is a USB port on a silver “USB backup button” next to it. Connect the USB drive to the port and press buttons, and the D400 that starts backing up that drive the public folder server. Any type of media file that identifies the D400 will also be copied to the root of their respective media folder. (For example, recognized the image file will be copied Photo server folder.) While this is a useful feature, there are some issues with how to implement it: while the port and button is behind the door, the door must remain open during the backup. Also, there is no indication when the backup of USB. USB activity light on the front of the unit keeps blinking long after the backup is done, with no confirmation of software.

If Lenovo wants to compete against the popular HP MediaSmart line of devices of Windows Home Server, it should step up the Extra that it provides. The MediaSmart EX495 includes a host of them, including a feature that automatically copies the media files from all the connected system and all of the media on the server; a feature that automatically converts the video for streaming system, gaming consoles, and mobile devices; and support for streaming media remote. HP unit also provides support for Macs, which includes configuring server and backing up the Mac systems with Mac OS server using Time machine; and even an app for iPhone/iPod touch that media streams from the server via Wi-Fi and 3 g.

The only features including D400 that the EX495 does not is the ability to set a static IP address, this option to send status alerts via e-mail, and the backup of USB. There is a plethora of misrepresenting Home-Windows Server add-ins, However, the D400 will get at least some of the EX495 functionality, such as access to streaming and iPhone for remote media.

Where the D400 is competing with pretty well in the EX495 is his performance in transferring files. Using a HP Pavilion elite m9550f desktop PC (2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300, 8 GB DDR2, 1 TB 7,200 rpm hard drive) running Windows 7 Ultimate as our testbed system, see the write speed as fast as 65.5 MB per seconds (549.1 Mbps) , just a hair behind the 66.1 MB per second (554.3 Mbps) we saw in the EX495. And the D400 is noticeably speedier than the EX495 to read speed: the D400 is to read the files in swift 60MB per seconds (503.5 Mbps), while the best read speed that we saw in the EX495 is 45.6 MB per seconds (382.2 Mbps). The file transfer rate makes the D400 that one of the speediest NAS devices we’ve seen to date.

Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 Review and Ratings

Taken we also see D400 power consumption. When sitting idle and not doing any file transfers, D400 consumes around 50 watts. When we hit the server with some simultaneous file transfers and backups, the maximum rate of power consumption that we saw was 58 watts. According to the default screen for the D400 Windows Home Server Console displays device CPU utilization, we also see how difficult working in D400. We were able to get equipment stared up 100 percent using the same CPU “core” (the physical Center, and virtual core via Hyper threading) several times, but most of the time our workloads topped out at 85 percent CPU utilization and is usually lower. This tells us that the D400 is capable of holding multiple transfers of files without getting deeper in. Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 Review and Ratings

Even half a terabyte is still much more storage (2TB vs. 1.5 TB) than the EX495, and selling for $100 low ($599.99 versus $699.99), the D400 to the NAS device. You can find the tools 2TB NAS that sells for under $300, and includes most of the same functionality as the D400. (That said, they do not easily permit upgrade their internal storage like a D400, neither are they anywhere near as quickly.) Another thing the D400 (as well as other devices on Windows Home Server, such as the EX495) have to not do what most other devices cause the access to a growing library of add-ins that can be exceedingly dagda.