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Figures 3 and 4 provide a look at the 5200's back panel. Once again there are some "unique" features. First is the eSATA port, which I didn't try out, but that should allow you to expand the 5200's storage. Then there is the type B USB 2.0 port (callout 3) that lets the 5200 serve as (big) external USB drive attached to a Windows PC.

I didn't have any luck getting a prompt when I tried a Hyperterminal connection from my notebook to the "factory use only" serial port, but suspect that more determined folks will succeed. Finally, there is the four-port 10/100/1000 switch that implies that the 5200 can handle your LAN's Internet-sharing duties as well as its storage needs (more on that later).

Back panel

Figure 3: Back Panel

Back Panel feature description

Figure 4: Back Panel feature description

Note that the power supply will accept a 100 - 240 VAC input with no jumpers to change. There's also a slot for a Kensington cable lock right above the serial connector. The front panel power switch is certainly big enough, but a little too responsive for my taste. I prefer a press-and-hold-for-a-few-seconds approach to shutdown, but the 5200 needs only a brief push to initiate a short shutdown sequence.

Thecus makes no secret of what powers the 5200, which is an Intel Celeron M running at 600MHz with 256MB of DDR memory. To see what else is inside, I unscrewed the three convenient thumbscrews on the rear panel, tilted it back and lifted off the cover.

Inside the N5200
Click to enlarge image

Figure 5: Inside the N5200

The main board looks like a custom design and has a single DIMM slot. That's a 64MB Afaya flash microdisk at the bottom of the picture and the module to the left of the photo is a rider module that holds a Marvell-based 5 port gigabit switch using an 88E1145 "Alaska" tranceiver for the four LAN ports, 88E6151 5 port gigabit switch and 88E1111 Alaska Gigabit Single-Channel PHY for the WAN port.

Not visible in this photo is the drive backplane that plugs into a connector on back of the main board and is bolted to a sheet metal card cage. The backplane provides blind-mate connection to five 3.5" SATA II drives, which will be formatted using the ext3 filesystem. Drives up to 750 GB are supported (a PDF list of supported drives can be downloaded here).

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