ASUSTOR has been in the NAS-making business for many years now and the competition for the best two-bay enclosure has never been so fierce. Competition from the likes of Synology and TerraMaster is keeping ASUSTOR’s design and technical teams hard at work on the drawing tables. The latest entry from them is the ASUSTOR Lockerstor 2 Gen2 (AS6702T).
The AS6702T is a two-bay NAS with plenty of premium features. Priced accordingly, this is about as good as you can get right now for a NAS with support for up to two drives. I’m talking M.2 SSD slots (that can be used for storage!), upgradable DDR4 RAM, 2.5Gb networking, and an excellent OS to install and run all your favorite NAS apps.
When looking at buying the best NAS money can afford, these are the sorts of features that really set enclosures apart. Could ASUSTOR top the competition with the AS6702T? Let’s find out with this in-depth review!
ASUSTOR LOCKERSTOR 2 Gen2 (AS6702T)
The AS6702T is the second generation of LOCKERSTOR 2 NAS from ASUSTOR and it’s a stunner — both on the outside and internal components.
- Intel Celeron N5105 CPU
- Two 2.5Gb LAN ports
- Four M.2 slots (can be used for storage)
- Upgradable DDR4-2933 RAM
- HDMI output
- Feature-rich OS with plenty of apps
- RAM and M.2 access requires tools
ASUSTOR AS6702T: Price, specs, and availability
The ASUSTOR LOCKERSTOR 2 Gen2 is the direct successor to the original LOCKERSTOR 2 and there are notable upgrades. The most prominent improvement to the specifications sheet is the processor, which is the capable little Intel Celeron N5105. You’re probably thinking “Intel Celeron? What?!”
But Intel’s Celeron range of processors is brilliant for NAS enclosures and server use. They utilize less power than Core processors yet are still more than able to handle most tasks without any performance issues. The Celeron N5105 is from the Jasper Lake family of CPUs launched in 2021.
It’s a quad-core processor and is able to take advantage of the bumped DDR4 RAM, which is now capable of hitting up to 2933MT/s. But that’s not all as this RAM can be expanded to a whopping 16GB from the preinstalled 4GB module.
Finally, we’ve got not one, not two, not three, but four new M.2 slots for SSDs. Not only is this better than what’s on offer from Synology and TerraMaster, but ASUSTOR goes the extra mile by letting you use these M.2 SSDs for caching or storage (feel free to mix and match).
|CPU||Intel Celeron N5105|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics|
|RAM||4GB SO-DIMM DDR4-2933|
|Drive bays||2x (SSD/HDD)|
4x M.2 2280 (SSD/PCIe)
|Capacity||40TB (not including M.2 SSD)|
|Expansion||2x AS6004U (4-bay)|
|Ports||2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2×1|
2x 2.5Gb LAN
1x HDMI 2.0b
|Dimensions||163.5 x 108 x 230mm|
The rest of the ASUSTOR AS6702T specifications are something to write home about too. There’s the ability to connect up to two four-bay ASUSTOR AS6004U expansion units to bring the total number of drive bays up to 10.
Then there are the two 2.5Gb LAN ports, which can be linked together for additional bandwidth for power users and/or busy households. Looks like we’re onto a winner before even unboxing the NAS.
ASUSTOR AS6702T: Design and features
ASUSTOR didn’t do much to play with the design of the new LOCKERSTOR 2 Gen2. It looks almost identical to the original LOCKERSTOR 2, but that’s not a negative as I’m a big fan of the modern yet retro look of the company’s catalog of enclosures.
One subtle design change is the top panel, which now has some perforated holes to aid in cooling the new four M.2 slots. Everything inside is still cooled with a single 70mm fan on the rear, sucking air through the chassis. The front plays host to the two drive bays, power button, USB port, and some LED lights.
These two drive bays hold trays that feel far superior to those found in other NAS, including models by Synology, QNAP, and TerraMaster. They’re made of metal with plastic front lock handles. It’s nice to slide in and out drive bays that don’t feel they’ll snap with too much force applied.
The sides are similar to the top in that they have some perforated holes in the metal casing. The rear of the NAS has the DC in for power, the second USB port, a single HDMI port, and two 2.5Gb LAN ports. Where are the M.2 slots, you ask? Unfortunately, we have to remove three screws to remove the main shell and locate them.
The four slots are found up top with the panel removed and the RAM slots are on the side behind a plastic flap. While it would have been nice to see this as a tool-less process, it’s nice to see ASUSTOR using integrated clips to hold the NVMe drives in place.
I’ve also written up a guide on the best RAM for the ASUSTOR AS6702T, should you be interested in expanding the capacity on your NAS.
ASUSTOR AS6702T: Software and performance
You won’t have any issue with performance when it comes to the ASUSTOR AS6702T. The quad-core Intel Celeron N5105 processor is amazing in this form factor. Capable of boosting all the way up to 2.90GHz, the Celeron chip can easily handle data output from the M.2 SSDs when used as storage (and caching is no problem either).
Utilizing the two 2.5Gb LAN ports, I used a configuration of two 18TB Seagate IronWolf HDDs and two 1TB IronWolf SSDs. Linking the two 2.5Gb connections together, I managed to achieve a data transfer rate of around 400MB/s with the hard drives, and a solid 470MB/s with the SSDs.
For the four M.2 slots, I installed a single excellent PNY XLR8 C3140 1TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD. Running the ADM 4 operating system results in one speedy user experience, from dealing with drive tasks or installing and managing available software packages.
ASUSTOR AS6702T: Competition
The ASUSTOR LOCKERSTOR 2 Gen2 AS6702T has a few enclosures to compete against, namely the Synology DiskStation DS720+ and TerraMaster F2-423. Both of these competitor enclosures have two drive bays, M.2 slots, and a whole host of other features that make them worth considering.
While the Synology DiskStation DS720+ may seem a little underpowered in the specs department, this model is actually from 2020, while the TerraMaster and ASUSTOR NAS both launched in 2022. There’s not too much to differentiate the three when looking at the specs table.
|Specification||ASUSTOR AS6702T||TerraMaster F2-423||Synology DS720+|
|CPU||Intel Celeron N5105||Intel Celeron N5105||Intel Celeron J4125|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics|
|RAM||4GB DDR4-2933 SODIMM||4GB DDR4-2933 SODIMM||4GB DDR4-2400 SODIMM|
|(Max: 16GB)||(Max: 32GB)||(Max: 8GB)|
|Drive bays||2x 3.5-inch||2x 3.5-inch||2x 3.5-inch|
|4x M.2||2x M.2||2x M.2|
|Expansion||2x AS6004U (~10 bays)||–||1x DX517 (~7 bays)|
|Cooling||1x 70mm||1x 80mm||1x 92mm|
|Ports||2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2×1||2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2×1||2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2×1|
|2x 2.5Gb LAN||2x 2.5Gb LAN||2x 1Gb LAN|
|1x HDMI 2.0b||1x HDMI 2.0b||1x eSATA|
|Dimensions||163.5 x 108 x 230mm||227 x 119 x 133mm||166 x 106 x 223mm|
An interesting point to make is the difference in official support for RAM with the ASUSTOR and TerraMaster NAS. The former only goes up to 16GB before ASUSTOR will cease official support whereas TerraMaster wants you to go up to 32GB. According to Intel, the Celeron chip is only good for 16GB.
The HDMI port on the ASUSTOR and TerraMaster NAS is also a brilliant addition that makes it painless to run Plex Media Server. You can connect your TV directly to the NAS and not require any transcoding, freeing up valuable CPU cycles for all other NAS tasks (perfect for a busy home).
Where the AS6702T really gets ahead of the F2-423 is expansion support. Not only does it have an additional two M.2 slots over the competition, but there’s also support for two four-bay expansion units to bring the total drive bay count to 10 (200TB with 20TB drives).
ASUSTOR AS6702T: Should you buy?
Who should buy this?
- If you want a two-bay NAS to run Plex Media Server
- If you want a powerful NAS with an Intel Celeron CPU
- If you need a NAS with upgradable DDR4 RAM
- If you plan on running virtual machines (VM)
- If you don’t mind spending more than $400
Who shouldn’t buy this?
- If you don’t require a powerful Intel Celeron CPU
- If you don’t have a network to handle 2.5Gb connections
- If you don’t plan on using M.2 SSDs
- If you don’t want to spend more than $400
The ASUSTOR LOCKERSTOR 2 Gen2 (AS6702T) is a brilliant NAS, so long as you can afford it. If you’re not comfortable paying out more than $400 on a two-bay NAS, this isn’t the enclosure for you. But if you can overlook the cost and see the potential of the four M.2 slots and expansion support, the AS6702T is the best two-bay NAS around.
The sheer scope of what you can do with this NAS is amazing. Plugging in a TV to the HDMI port frees up the processor for running all other tasks, allowing you to run virtual machines, Plex Media Server, as well as store and access big files and backups. It truly is an all-trick pony and that’s before we look at upgrading the RAM.
ASUSTOR has done wonders with its ADM operating system and it truly shines on the AS6702T. There are countless apps available and getting started from unboxing takes less than 10 minutes. If you’re wanting to buy the best two-bay NAS available right now, look no further than this little unit.
ASUSTOR LOCKERSTOR 2 Gen2 (AS6702T)
Looking for the absolute best two-bay NAS enclosure you can buy right now? You’ve just found it. This little thing is insane.