Home Servers, Network Attached Storage

Lenovo Returns to the Home Server Market With the Beacon

Lenovo Beacon

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.

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.

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