Hot on the heels of their line of external hard drive enclosures, Vantec introduces a stand-alone, network accessible storage (NAS) device targeted at users looking for an alternative to USB- and FireWire-based solutions.
Vantec Thermal Technology Corp. has been providing thermal and storage solutions to the PC market since 1994. They manufacture everything from hard drive enclosures and RAID cards to RAM heat spreaders and water cooling kits.
From the website:
Utilizing our technical expertise and innovative designs, we are constantly expanding our product line to offer advanced computer peripheral to meet the personal and industrial needs of modern computer users.
A Froogle search on July 20, 2006 showed only xPCgear.com carrying the LX. At the time, it was available for pre-order at $73.99, with an estimated arrival date of July 24th. Vantec projected an “end of July” ship date for its U.S. customers and sometime in September for Canada. Currently, the Nexstar LX NAS is available only through xPCgear.com and lists for $73.99.
Just to be clear, the LX is only an enclosure, meaning you’ll have to provide your own IDE hard drive. The LX is similar to the familiar USB- or FireWire-based external hard drive enclosures with two distinct differences. First, it offers 10/100 Ethernet connectivity via an RJ-45 connection, and secondly, it doesn’t need to be directly connected to a PC to function. You can assign an IP address to the LX and then access it as you would any other node on your network - hence, Network Attached Storage (NAS). This allows other machines on the network to discretely access information remotely without having to commit an entire PC to the task. Basically, it’s a cheaper and more space-conscious alternative to a dedicated file server.
The device (not including power supply) measures 6.5 x 6.5 x 2 inches (16.5 x 16.5 x 5 cm). In addition to the Ethernet port, the rear panel sports a USB 2.0 connection, 2 switches that control the cooling fan (auto/manual and high/low), and a micro-security (Kensington-style) slot. Our evaluation unit came with a nice glossy black finish, but it is also available in white.