Those of you who have followed We Got Served for a while will remember Lenovo’s D400 IdeaCenter, a quirky-looking but essentially derivative interpretation of Windows Home Server – square box, four bays, cheap home server operating system, off you go. Without a big marketing push and patchy distribution, it failed to shift in volume and was quietly retired a year or two later.
Fast forward to 2014 and at this year’s CES, Lenovo took the wraps off a new interpretation of the home server – or as they’re called nowadays by the marketers, personal cloud. The Lenovo Beacon is essentially a two bay Linux NAS powered by Intel’s EvanSport’s storage platform – the same components driving ASUSTOR’s recent AS-302T release and the Thecus N2650.
That platform, built around the Intel CE 5315 processor is designed to bridge the gap between NAS and media streamer/HTPC, hence alongside the usual USB 3.o and Gigabit Ethernet sockets, you’ll see a HDMI socket fitted for direct attachment to a TV. Alongside Lenovo’s own NAS management software, you’ll find XMBC installed for media viewing.
Sold diskless, the Beacon will support up to 6TB storage in RAID 0/RAID 1/ JBOD configurations with features designed to make usage easier than the standard NAS. For example, a single button push will enable file uploading to the Beacon from another storage device – wirelessly or via a wired connection.
Expect to see the Lenovo beacon in April starting for $199.