The Sentinel DX4200 looks and feels much like many of the NAS servers we have reviewed here at Bigbruin.com, and as mentioned it is what is on the inside that sets it apart. The promotional image below highlights some of the typical features we would expect to see... A small cube with a front access door, a few buttons, and a two line LCD screen.
To further illustrate the physical similarity to other NAS servers, and to give a side-by-side size comparison we have the image below. On the top of these shelves we have five network storage servers, including from left-to-right: a Thecus N5550 (with 5x 2TB drives), a Windows server in a Bitfenix Prodigy case (with 4x 3TB drives), the WD Sentinel DX4200 (with 4x 4TB drives), a Synology DS415+ (with 4x 3TB drives), and a Synology DS415play (with 4x 2TB drives). As you can see, it is rather small compared to other devices that are intended to do roughly the same thing.
The below left image shows the front of the DX4200, which features a large perforated panel to allow air to flow through to the drives. At the top is a two line LCD display that provides details about the system, a power button is off to the left, and two navigation buttons are off to the right. Below the LCD display are four indicator LEDs that cna provide status information about their respective drive. The below right image takes a closer look at the perforated fron panel in the area near the keyed lock.
Unlocking the front panel provides access to the four storage drives, and as seen in the below left image there is a small graphic that explains how to get the drives out. Each drive is held in place by a latching door of its own, and for the most convenient installation / hot swap access there are no drive trays required. The below right image shows all of the drive doors opened, with the end of the WD Se drives visible.
The below left image shows that with a door opened, a drive just slides in/out on a track designed to line it up perfectly with the SATA data/power header at the back. The below right image shows one of the WD Se 4TB drives removed from the system. These drives offer performance and reliability beyond what you might typically find in a NAS server, and they should provide peace of mind since you are using datacenter quality drives.
The below left image shows the back of the server, which may loook typical, but features some interesting items. A cooling fan and dual Gigabit network adapters may be fairly common, but the rest of the features are a bit above and beyond what you might normally see. While many NAS devices have a USB 3.0 port or two, the DX4200 offers four of them! And while you will definitely need a power connector to get something like this fired up, the DX4200 has two of them which could provide redundancy in case one fails (though there is only one power cord provided). You will also find a VGA port, which is what I used for the initial setup until I had the server to the point where I could continue working on it via a remote desktop connection. You can connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse and access the DX4200 locally like you would a typical Windows computer. The below right image shows one of the server's side panels which is mostly solid metal except for some ventilation holes near the top.