Tranquil PC T2-WHS-A3 Harmony Home Server review
Other purchase options include a selection of cases – we reviewed the “desk-style” version, but rack-mount, floor-mount and wall-mount variants are offered. And you can fill the A3’s single PCI slot with either a gigabit ethernet (£12) card or four eSATA connectors (£38). Since you’re likely to be moving large files around your home network, we think gigabit ethernet is worth the small extra cost, if your network can use it. If you want to use a third-party PCI card, you’ll need a riser to make it fit the A3’s case. Tranquil sells these for £4.50.
The system as a whole is well built and well conceived, but there’s scope for a few minor improvements. Tranquil PC provides a reinstallation DVD in case of disaster, but this isn’t much help, as the device has no optical drive. We miss the USB recovery sticks that came standard with the T7, but which are now sold separately for £29.
The size of the case is a let-down, too. A passively cooled system can’t be packed too densely, but the A3 contains lots of empty space, and a less obtrusive design should have been possible. And it’s a minor niggle, but a hard disk activity light would have been good.
Still, if you don’t need compactness, the T2-WHS-A3 Harmony Home Server is very appealing. It doesn’t have the clever media extensions of HP’s MediaSmart device, but it’s quieter, cheaper, more efficient and better for the environment.