Friday, December 4, 2009

Lenovo IdeaCenter D400 Home Server


Lenovo brings the IdeaCenter D400 home server that has a similar design as Acer’s easyStore AH340.

IdeaCenter D400 runs on Intel’s Pentium Dual Core processor and 4GB of memory. It offers four 3.5-inch drive bays, which is enough for up to a total of 8TB storage capacity. There are also an eSATAport and five USB ports. Of course, Etherner port is available.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 Home Server is a well built home server with plenty of features and a sturdy drive bay. For Lenovo's first entry in this market, the workmanship stands out among the NAS boxes I have reviewed this year, even if the bay door is made out of plastic and can bend while extracting drives. The company chose Windows Home Server (WHS) for the operating system, but did not add much in the way of other extras. For basic NAS use, the $599 IdeaCentre is more than adequate.

Design and Setup
No larger than the Western Digital WD ShareSpace NAS, the IdeaCentre sets itself apart from other home servers with a highly decorative design. A semi-transparent plastic door molded in an elongated hexagonal pattern, like a stretched out bee hive, neatly covers the drive bays and a USB port. The design reminds me of the elegant LG N4B1 NAS. A large chrome beveled button next to the front USB port copies files from inserted USB drives to a common folder. As you turn it around, you find the usual laundry list of ports: four USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA and power.

Lenovo provides the WHS client installation. Along with the WHS Connector, which all WHS vendors must include, Lenovo also included a Lights Out utility and the Lenovo Home Server EasyAccess utility, both of which use Visual C+ runtime libraries, also included. Once installed, you can start the WHS Console and connect to the Lenovo Home Server. Lenovo offers plain vanilla Web access to the Home Server, but it's not as polished as the HP MediaSmart Server EX495, which also offers a Media Streamer, Photo Publisher and Viewer.