Hands-on: QNAP’s TVS-882ST3 is a compact NAS with tons of power-user features [Updated]

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If you’re a video editor working with large files or someone who likes rip and stream 4K content, then QNAP’s TVS-882ST3 may appeal to you. This is a NAS machine that largely focuses on speed, with I/O options like Thunderbolt 3 and 10Gb Ethernet in tow. Perhaps more interesting, this is a NAS that only features 2.5-inch bays, which work with traditional spinning hard drives, but are obviously geared towards faster solid state storage.

With eight bays, the TVS-882ST3 is capable of hosting a large amount of storage for a variety of different workflows. It can be used as a traditional NAS machine, a DAS (Direct Attached Storage), or a combination of both. Check out our brief hands-on video inside for a closer look at the TVS-882ST3.

Update: This post has been updated with additional details regarding Thunderbolt connectivity.

Note: This post has been updated, please check the details below.

One of the most striking things about the TVS-882ST3 is that it’s capable of housing eight bays in such a compact form factor. This is, of course, largely thanks to its adoption of 2.5-inch drives only. Another standout feature about this NAS is that it features an LCD status screen on the front, which allows users to easily discern the real time status of the machine, and interact with it via the Enter and Select buttons embedded in the display. This makes it possible to manage basic aspects of the NAS without always needing to fire up the unit’s web interface.

Next to the drive bays, you’ll find a Power button, and a USB-C (3.1 gen 2) port. The USB-C port is embedded inside of a front-facing Copy button allows users to quickly dump the contents of a USB-C-connected external source via a simple button press.

Video walkthrough

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The rear of the device contains a wide variety of port options. Here’s a list of everything you’ll find:

  • 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports with USB-C form factor
  • 3.5 mm Microphone input
  • 3.5 mm Headphone output
  • USB 3.1 gen 2 port (Type-C)
  • USB 3.1 gen 2 port (Type-A)
  • HDMI port (max 3840-by-2160 4K @ 30Hz)
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 2 x 10GbE 10GBASE-T
  • 2 x Gigabit RJ45 LAN ports

Powering the TVS-882ST3 is an Intel Core i5-6442EQ running at 1.9GHz. This CPU can burst up to 2.7GHz if need be, which is a good amount of power to have on tap for things like streaming and other resource intensive operations. You’ll also find 8GB of DDR4, which is expandable up to 32GB.

Top features

  • High quality metal chassis
  • Super compact due to 2.5-inch drive bays
  • LCD status screen
  • Thunderbolt 3 connections with USB-C form factor
  • Features 10Gb Ethernet
  • Functions as a Thunderbolt 3 to 10GbE switch
  • HDMI 4K output
  • USB 3.1 ports (Type C and Type A)
  • Works with WiFi adapter
  • Works with remote control
  • QTS web interface

The unit isn’t cheap, but you’re getting a high-quality build with tons of hardware customization options and software customization. It’s handy for those interested in archiving 4K video, whether that be your own content, or motion picture video for the living room.

With that said, I understand that many will be more in the market for a cheaper NAS. The good news is that QNAP offers a wide variety of NAS machines, with some starting as low as $199.

Update: After speaking with QNAP representatives, they informed me that this unit is actually Thunderbolt 3, and it was mislabeled. The label should read TVS-882ST3. I thought it was strange that the device said Thunderbolt 2, but since the Thunderbolt 3 units had just launched, I assumed that it was simply a retrofitted device.

The good news is that this unit is Thunderbolt 3 capable, and reports a connection at 20Gbps due to the fact that it employs IP over Thunderbolt connectivity. When it’s mounted to a Thunderbolt 3 computer, it’s actually mounted as a 20GbE ethernet adapter, and that’s why System Information reports 20Gbps instead of 40Gbps.

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