UGREEN DXP4800 Plus NAS review: This 4-bay server has outstanding hardware

UGREEN is known for its GaN chargers and power banks, and over the last 12 months the Chinese manufacturer branched out into docking stations, power stations, and a variety of accessories. Now, UGREEN is making its debut into what is possibly its most ambitious category yet: NAS servers.

Dubbed the NASync series, UGREEN is rolling out six models at launch: a 2-bay DXP2800, 4-bay DXP4800 and DXP4800 Plus (which I’m reviewing), a 6-bay DXP6800 Pro, an 8-bay DXP8800 Plus, and a 4-bay DXP480T Plus that uses all-flash storage. The 2-bay and 4-bay models are aimed at home users, with the 6-bay and 8-bay servers targeted at businesses and enthusiast users. I’ll get to the Pro models a little later, and considering they have Intel Core i5 hardware, there’s clearly a lot on offer.

But right now, it’s the DXP4800 Plus that stands out in the brand’s portfolio. This 4-bay NAS is powered by the Intel’s Alder Lake-based Pentium Gold 8505, comes with 8GB of RAM as standard, has a 128GB SSD installed out of the box, and has four HDD drive bays in addition to two M.2 slots. And there’s a 10GbE port along with a 2.5GbE port at the back, and there really isn’t much missing on the hardware side of things.

What you’ll really like is the pricing; UGREEN is taking the unconventional route of crowdfunding, and the DXP4800 Plus can be bought for just $419 as a result. I can’t think of another 4-bay NAS with this caliber of hardware that’s available for under $550, and while there’s usually a downside to backing a relative unknown brand, UGREEN has its bases covered.

I used the DXP4800 Plus for just over two weeks, and here’s why you should consider the NAS server if you’re looking to upgrade. 

UGREEN DXP4800 Plus: Pricing and release date

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UGREEN unveiled the NASync series on March 26, and the products are now available on Kickstarter. You can back the DXP4800 Plus for $419, and UGREEN mentions that the retail model will debut at $699 once it starts selling on its website and Amazon.

There’s a standard DXP4800 that is powered by the Intel N100 platform, and it comes with the same four drive bays and two NVMe slots, but you get dual 2.5GbE ports instead. There’s 8GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, and the same set of ports as the Plus model. The DXP4800 is going for $359, and it will cost $599 at retail.

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Category UGREEN DXP4800 Plus
Internal drive bays Four (22TB each bay), 3.5-inch HDD
Network interface 1 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
USB ports 2 x USB 3.2 Gen2, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB-C
eSATA ports
PCIe
HDMI Yes, HDMI 2.0b port
CPU Intel Pentium Gold 8505
Plex transcoding Yes
RAM 8GB DDR4 non-ECC, upgradeable to 64GB
M.2 slots Two, M.2 2280 standard

UGREEN DXP4800 Plus: Design

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

UGREEN’s products have a distinct design aesthetic, with the brand favoring a metallic grey color scheme. The DXP4800 Plus has a similar aesthetic, and it ends up looking elegant. The chassis is made out of aluminum, and it is clearly built to last — it has a reassuring heft to it.

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

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I would have liked to see vented sides to deliver passive airflow, but other than that quibble, I don’t have any issues on the design front. The drive trays are numbered, and there’s a single fan at the back that’s covered by a dust filter. While most NAS servers use this fan as the exhaust, it works as an intake on the DXP4800 Plus, with hot air blowing out the front in between the drive trays. The fan itself is quiet, and it isn’t audible even when the NAS is under load; the HDDs are noisier by some margin.

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Talking about HDDs, the DXP4800 Plus has four drive bays, and you can easily install 3.5-inch drives without any tools. UGREEN has a pretty cool mechanism that uses a lever to extend the height of the drive tray, allowing you to slot in an HDD. It is an overengineered solution to a problem that didn’t need solving, but it looks cool nonetheless.

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

I don’t see any slots for mounting a 2.5-inch SATA SSD, so if you’re thinking of using flash storage, you’ll need to rely on the dual M.2 slots that are located at the underside. The power button is located below the drive bays, and you get status LEDs next to it; there’s also an SD card reader, a USB-C, and USB-A connectivity at the front.

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

There’s UGREEN branding on both sides, but it meshes into the design and is barely noticeable. On the whole, I think UGREEN did a great job with the design of the DXP4800 Plus, and the NAS server looks good and has excellent build quality.

UGREEN DXP4800 Plus: Connectivity and hardware

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Coming to connectivity, there’s plenty to like on the DXP4800 Plus. There are dual USB 2.0 ports along with a USB 3.2 port at the back, and you get an HDMI port that lets you connect the NAS to a TV. You can always stream media from the NAS via DLNA, but HDMI makes things easier.

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The DXP4800 Plus has a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port alongside a 10 Gigabit port, and you don’t really see many enclosures in this segment that have 10GbE connectivity. Like I said, there really isn’t much missing in this area.

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The NAS comes with 8GB of RAM as standard, and there are two SO-DIMM slots on the underside, so you can easily add more memory should you wish to do so. The system is able to handle up to 64GB of RAM — 32GB in each slot — so there’s no shortage of upgradability. You also get two M.2 2280 slots on the underside, and UGREEN bundled foam pads that do a good job managing thermals when you install an SSD.

You also get two Cat7 cables in the package, and that’s an added bonus. The DXP4800 Plus is quite heavy on its own, but UGREEN uses an external power brick to drive the NAS.

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

As for the hardware, the DXP4800 Plus has what is arguably the best package in this segment. Intel’s Pentium Gold 8505 is a tier above the Celeron N4125 and N5105 that’s used in most NAS servers these days, and it has plenty of power to spare. As the software isn’t quite ready just yet, I’m not going to share detailed performance metrics — I’ll do so in an update.

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

That said, I transferred several hundred Gigabytes of data to the NAS and used it with M.2 SSDs over my 10GbE home network, and it handled transfers just as well as other 10GbE NAS servers I tested. There were two instances where the SMB share failed to show up, but a reboot solved the issue.

UGREEN DXP4800 Plus: Software

UGREEN DXP4800 Plus review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

UGREEN sent me the DXP4800 Plus two weeks ahead of its Kickstarter debut, and the brand mentioned that the software is still in beta. That’s an understatement; there are many issues with the UI, and weird translation errors throughout the interface, and it isn’t close to being ready for consumer use as of writing.

That said, the UI itself looks clean, and it’s clear that UGREEN is trying to emulate DiskStation Manager. Synology is the brand to beat in this area, so it’s good to see UGREEN trying to copy from the best. Considering the state of the software, I’m not going into too much detail, but you get a settings page that lets you tweak the fan settings, add and change user accounts, set up storage pools, and so on.

There’s remote access as well, and you need a UGREEN cloud account to access the NAS from outside your home network. However, there’s no way to enable 2FA on the account, so I wouldn’t suggest setting it up until that feature is live. Also, while I created an account and signed in on day one, I wasn’t able to get back in the next day — I had to register again using the same email address.

UGREEN DXP4800 Plus review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

There’s no icon management on the home screen, and other than dragging the icons around, you can’t change much. The package center doesn’t have many utilities; the Universal Search does a good job indexing the data stored on the NAS and pulling up useful information, but there is no native Plex client as of writing, or Docker containerization.

You don’t even get a built-in media or audio service, and UGREEN notes that these are being added. While I didn’t have any issues creating a storage pool with Seagate IronWolf drives, I got an error message a few days later stating the drives are incompatible; UGREEN said it won’t impose any limitations around HDD use, and that all NAS HDDs should work without any issues.

I’ll revisit this section once UGREEN rolls out software updates to the NAS, but as of now, know that the DXP4800 Plus doesn’t have much to offer from a software point of view.

UGREEN DXP4800 Plus: The competition

Synology DiskStation DS923+ review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

ASUSTOR’s AS5404T is a good choice if you want a 4-bay NAS with powerful hardware and the ability to transcode Plex content. It is powered by the Intel Celeron N5105 platform, has 4GB of RAM, four M.2 slots, and dual 2.5GbE connectivity. ASUSTOR made a lot of changes to its software in the last 12 months, and you get a good UI along with a ton of useful features. Coming in at $529, the AS5404T is costlier than the DXP4800 Plus, and you miss out on 10GbE connectivity.

If you need the best software features, the DiskStation DS923+ is still a terrific choice. That said, the hardware is distinctly second-best; you only get Gigabit Ethernet ports, and while the Ryzen R1600 is plenty fast, it doesn’t do transcodes. Retailing for $599, the DS923+ is considerably costlier, and while you don’t get the best hardware, the software is why you’re paying a premium.

UGREEN DXP4800 Plus: Should you buy it?

UGREEN NASync DXP4800 Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

You should buy this if:

  • You want the best 4-bay NAS hardware
  • You need 10GbE connectivity
  • You want the convenience of HDD storage as well as M.2 slots
  • You need plenty of memory and an easy way to upgrade down the line

You shouldn’t buy this if:

  • You want a native Plex client and Docker out of the box
  • You need secure remote access

Overall, UGREEN has a strong showing with its NASync series, and the DXP4800 Plus has the potential to be one of the best 4-bay NAS servers around. The hardware clearly is in a league of its own, and you don’t get the same feature-set on any other $500 NAS today. The fact that it features an Intel 8505 platform along with 10GbE connectivity gives the DXP4800 Plus a distinct edge.

The build quality is on par with the best home NAS servers, the enclosure is quiet in daily use, and 8GB of RAM is more than what you get in this segment. That said, UGREEN still needs to do a lot of work on the software front; there’s no native Plex client or Docker containerization, and UGOS Pro is missing a built-in media and audio servers.

UGREEN clearly states that the software is in beta, and that it will roll out updates with new features in the coming weeks. I’ll update this post once those features go live, but the little I’ve seen on the software shows a lot of promise. While I’m generally wary of recommending crowdfunded products, UGREEN is a brand with a proven history of delivering reliable products — I use its GaN chargers and docks throughout my home — so I’m willing to recommend the DXP4800 Plus.

If you don’t mind waiting a few weeks for the software features, the DXP4800 Plus is an easy recommendation at $419 — there’s nothing else in this segment that gives you as good a value.

Via: Androidcentral

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