Due to the great amount of requests we decided to translate our review of TranquilPCs´ T2-WHS-A2 and it was on me doing the translation. Since I am not a native speaker I would like to apologise for all the following mistakes and also for the wrong or somehow weird verbalisations.
As you might have noticed, we had the possibility to bring you some initial information about the development and the availability of TranquilPC´s Windows Home Servers and their recovery strategy. But now we are very glad to put our hands on one of them. Since the big OEM companies seem to need more time for the development and the final finishing it was a clever manoeuvre of TranquilPC to move onto the market. Since they had finished their development they were ready to sell all three of their servers long before Christmas. All three of them, the T2-WHS-A2, the T2-WHS-A3 and the T7-HSA are available in English and German, also a French localisation seems to be on its´ way.
But that is enough of preamble, let us take a closer look at the T2-WHS-A2. The T2-WHS-A2 is supplied in a large white box, there are only two little evidences that some IT equipment might be in the box. At first the post sticker betrays TranquilPC as the sender and second the two green stickers shown below are on the box. One tells you that the carbon foot print of this IT equipment is zero over a normal lifetime. More information can be found here. The other sticker tells you that the product inside was build in complain to 2002/95/EC, more about the EU directive can be found here. Obviously TranquilPC PCs´ are very “green”.
In the standard version the T2-WHS-A2 is supplied with a 500GB Hdd, 512 MB DDR2 Ram and a 1GB onboard network chip. This chip belongs to the Realtek family RTL8169/8110.
The external AC/DC power supply with an output of 80 watts is delivered with country specified cable. Moreover a short but adequate 16 pages long quick install and use guide belongs to packed. The necessary media, here the Windows Home Server DVD, the Connector CD and the Client restore CD were also included. All three of them self burned and with a beautiful TranquilPC design tagged. Microsofts´ licence sticker sticks on one side of the unit.
In addition to this standard packed we got TranquilPCs´ own optional recovery packed which contains nothing more than two USB keys which will help you to protect and restore your individual Windows Home Server operation system. From our point of view the recovery packed is a very good, easy to use and fast solution protecting your individual settings. A network cable was not provided.
Altogether the T2-WHS-A2 corresponds to the hardware requirements which are set by Microsoft. The 512MB Ram and the VIA C7 CPU with 1,5GHz fit both to the minimum requirements (the CPU is surely faster than the minimum) and the Hdd with its´ capacity of 500GB minus OS is large enough to hold the average amount of pictures, music and other digital data in a household. Since the unit is big enough you are able to insert an additional hard disk. Then folder duplication is savely possible and the data on the Windows Home Server is secured against hardware failure.
As you can see below the T2-WHS-A2 might fit into a black HIFI rack and would bring some colour into it. Since the server is fan less and because of that very silent the only noise which comes from the unit is a light, nearly not noticeable sound of the installed hard disk. As we have mentioned before the server is fan less and therefore depends on the natural circulation of air. Please bear in mind while planning your setup.
The cooling system is a self-development of TranquilPC, the CPU is connected via a heatpipe to a large heat sink which builds one entire side of the server. In addition to that the Hdd, a Western Digital Caviar GP 500AACS and also the possible additional Hdd are fitted into a cage build out of passive head sinks. This cage is screwed to the bottom and decoupled via rubber. There from existing vibrations of the hard disks are not able to pass over to the main unit (box). With an additional Hdd the T2-WHS-A2 is capable for 2TB of internal data.
Delivered in the standard setup the T2-WHS-A2 supports up to 6 USB 2.0 external hdds or the maximum capacity of 8TB of storage (1TB á Hdd). If that is not enough TranquilPC offers PCI to eSATA adapters, it is your choice between 4 and 8 eSATA ports.
Summing up the T2-WHS-A2 is a great unit working very well and looking even better. It meets the requirements of an average household what for the Windows Home Server is originally designed for. On the one hand, because of its long tried and carefully worked out construction the TranquilPC T2-WHS-A2 works very silent and saves as much energy as possible. On the other hand the server is powerful and expandable enough that the power users are able to fit it to much higher needs.
The inner and the outer design are both as much convincing as the optional recovery packed. If we were forced to give a school grade we would like to give the T2-WHS-A2 an A, not only because of the described features above, but also because of the moderate pricing which starts at 450€.
PS: Hopefully you were able to unterstand the article above and everything was clearly written down. In the possible case of incomprehensibilities and other major or minor mistakes fell free to contact me via email.