The front of the Thecus
N3200XXX has a nice design to it. There are four mesh slots to allow air to be pulled in through to the hard disks and exhaust out of the back of the unit.
On the bottom of the faceplate, there are four buttons - up, down, "ESC", and return. These handle the functions and menus of the LCD display. Pushing on the three dots on the middle right of the face pops the door open to gain access to the power button and the disks themselves. There is also a single USB port on the left side.
The most prominent feature on back of the Thecus N3200XXX is the 80mm thermally-controlled exhaust fan. There are also two Ethernet ports (one for LAN and one for WAN), a single USB 2.0 port, and an eSATA port. You can also see the port for the external power brick and an expansion slot. While you might be able to put in a video capture card for DVR or a wireless network adapter, Thecus does not officially support add-in cards for the N3200XXX.
With the front door opened, we can see the hard disk rail system and the SATA back-plane. The fact that these drives are hot-swappable is a nice feature on a home server device. The N3200XXX can add to an array on the fly to either expand your storage or replace a failed disk. If a disk fails or gets removed, the unit will beep by default until you either log in through the web interface and turn it off or until the RAID array begins its rebuild. This feature can be turned off through the web interface, if desired.
The drive rails themselves are a pretty simple implementation. There are thumbscrews that secure the drives in the unit while three prongs hold the rails onto the side of each drive.
Finally, to give you a general idea of how small this unit really is, we placed it next to an HP MediaSmart Server, which is a four drive unit but almost twice as tall and nearly as wide. While the HP server has an integrated power supply, the weight in comparison to the Thecus unit is negligible.