Iomega is a name that most older computer users are more than familiar with, since it harks back to the time of the much maligned but still excellent (at the time) Zip drives.
Things have moved on since those early days, and Lenovo now owns what’s left of Iomega. The storage skills and know-how of the old company are still in effect, though, as we can see from this entry.
The ix4-300d comes across as a more business-orientated four-bay NAS drive, but there’s still plenty in here that can satisfy the home user. Inside you’ll find a Marvell Armada MV78230 XP CPU running at 1.3GHz, together with 512MB of DDR3 memory.
Connectivity comes in the form of a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports and three USB ports, of which one is USB 3.0. And of course, there are four drive bays that can receive 3.5” SATA-2 disks of varying sizes up to 16TB – although the unit had was fitted with four 1TB drives.
Obviously you can have all manner of RAID levels, which are relatively easy to configure in the web-based management console. Our four drives came already formatted and RAIDed, and breaking and reconfiguring this took a considerable amount of time – just over three hours to be exact.
There are various NAS services on offer through the interface, such as a cloud solution, surveillance, FTP, print server and the usual fare of file and folder sharing with varying user access. Unfortunately, though, we couldn’t get the DLNA service working and, as a result, we were forced to browse to media content through a file manager. It was quite annoying really and not as well designed as the previously reviewed QNAP QTS OS example we’ve already become accustomed to.
The design of the ix4-300d is an anonymous looking black box, but with a digital readout on the front that can display the Iomega logo, current IP address and the like. While the design is workable, we did find it unnecessarily inconvenient to have to remove the outer case in order to access or fit the drives, which are side mounted horizontally. Where a lot of NAS drives these days have taken a leaf from the enterprise server room, in that you can quickly and conveniently whip out a faulty drive and slide a new one in place in a blink of eye, Lenovo Iomega has instead opted for a more cold-swap setup. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean you’ll have to unplug everything before gaining access to the drives.
While we’re on the subject of nit-picking, we did find the management interface a little too slow to respond at times. Whether this is because we’ve already, as we said earlier, been spoiled with the flashy and very responsive QTS interface from QNAR we’re not entirely sure. Switching from one service to the next was okay; it’s just whenever something needed to be applied, like a service change, the system seemed to grind to a halt, which also affected the serving capabilities too.
Overall, while the Lenovo Iomega ix4-300d is a reasonably priced and generally good NAS drive, it’s not as well designed as some of the other models we’ve seen.
• Manufacturer Lenovo Iomega
• Website: goo.gl/dhhXvl
• Required spec Up to four SATA-2 drives, gigabit network for best results, any modem web browser