Hands On Review of the Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server...

Hands On Review of the Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011

Last week we unboxed the new Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011 box, and today we have the exclusive review of the Leo HS4.

UWHS Review - Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011

Tranquil are one the first companies to release a Windows Home Server 2011 box, the other being Viridian with their VS-4HA. In fact, there isn’t exactly a line of companies rushing to release Windows Home Server 2011. Acer have promised one, but as yet it has failed to materialise. And frankly that is it for the “big” players. Hopefully this is just down to them being cautious and we should soon see some more.

Product Specification

Unit dimensions
213 (w) x 331 (d) x 195 (h) incl feet (mm)

Unit construction
Enamelled Steel (typically >70% recycled materials)

System heat sink
Internal CPU and Chipset aluminium heat sink (fan less)

CPU
Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor i3-2100T (2.5GHz)

Memory
2GB DDR3 1333Mhz (upgradeable)

HDDs
4x 3.5″ bays (1st bay factory fitted with 2TB HDD) 3x free.

Colour options
Satin Black or Gloss White

Front panel
Power, Mode and backups switches, Multi-coloured status LED’s and 2x USB 2.0 ports

Rear panel
12v DC power in / 2x USB3.0 / 4x USB2.0 / 10.100.1000 LAN port / 1x eSATA / Desk lock / (optional 2x eSATA with port multiplier)

Weight
Base unit (nett) 6Kg

Power supply
External AC/DC with country specific power cord

Working temp
Maximum 44’C ambient

Mounting options
Desk

Power consumption
23W (incl 1xHDD)

Acoustics
23dBA (incl 1x HDD)

Software
Windows Home Server 2011 – PC Recovery CD – Server Restore DVD

What’s in the Box?

  • Leo HS4 Home Server appliance
  • 2TB Low Energy Primary Hard Disk
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM (in the case of our review unit 4GB)
  • Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor (i3-2100T 2.5GHz) (in the case of this review we had the i5 processor)
  • Media Kit including PC Restore CD and Server Restore DVD
  • 24 month RTB (return to base) warranty

UWHS Review - Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011UWHS Review - Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011UWHS Review - Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011UWHS Review - Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011UWHS Review - Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011

  • Jim

    Andrew–

    Nice box! Are these available in North America as well as UK/Europe?

    Jim

    • http://usingwindowshomeserver.com Andrew Edney

      Tranquil will ship them to the US if requested :-)

  • http://homeservershow.com/forums John Zajdler

    Thanks for the review. I to am happy to see Tranquil take strides to promote WHS & WSS and also the recent announcement of going continental, http://www.wegotserved.com/2011/05/31/tranquil-pc-continental/
    Thanks for the internal photos.

    I’m wondering about reinstalling the OS. You noted that there is a OS DVD, therefor I’m assuming a server recovery or a factory restore requires a USB DVD drive and a monitor connected to the server.

    If you recall http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2009/08/02/review-of-the-tranquil-pc-sqa-5h-windows-home-server/ the silver card and reseting the server put the server in recovery mode on the network and the DVD went into your PC. This was done because Tranquil wanted to avoid using a monitor on the server. I see that no silver card is included on the 2011 boxes, does this mean that the server recovery and/or factory reset are now done at the server with a USB DVD drive and monitor ?

    I am also happy to see a i3/5 server but a bit disappoint that you have to give up the 5th drive bay, it’s ok if a 5th drive was never available on this form factor, but to loose it on the 2011 box is disappointing. However you do get a better CPU. Will tranquil have a Aton based WHS2011 that keeps the 5th drive ?

    With Tranquil’s ixl Media Center PC’s and excellent silent case and invisible DVD drive, I was hoping for that style on the new servers. I was expecting a box like the Awieco server http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2011/05/25/awieco-windows-home-server-2011-or-small-business-2011-essentials-server-coming-soon/ it’s silent and you keep the 5th bay and get to use the PCI slot.

    Also, nice to see Tranquil throw in the DriveBender addin & provide an upgrade path for v1 to v2.

    • http://usingwindowshomeserver.com Andrew Edney

      thanks for the comments John.

      The server recovery DVD allows you to create a bootable USB flash drive with the recovery software.

      There is a monitor port on the back once you remove the service plate as well.

      The problem is there is just no spare room in the case at all for the heat sink to go anywhere other than in the 5 drive bay.

      And yes, I believe there is a SQA-5H WHS 2011 box if you want Atom.

      Andrew

  • Paul Chown

    Hi, Great review. I’m wondering about itunes, and how I could get my Apple TV to work without the need of a client PC being switch-on. Will WHS2011 allow for this to work?

    • http://usingwindowshomeserver.com Andrew Edney

      Good question Paul – can you start a new thread in our forums on this topic as I know a few people have done it in different ways.

      Thanks – Andrew

  • Pingback: How To Recover A Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011 Box - Using Windows Home Server()

  • Rich

    Can I purchase Tranquil products in the US?

    • http://usingwindowshomeserver.com Andrew Edney

      Not in the US, but you have purchase them from the Tranquil website and they will ship them to the US.

  • JazJon

    It’s between this and Awieco, so far I’m leaning towards the Awieco. (extra drive bay, and slim-line optical slot) I’d rather have the blu-ray drive built in if possible. (for easy My Movies importing) I’m still waiting to pick between Driver Bender/Drive Pool (DE 3rd party solution) but I’m ready to get a new sever asap! (EX495 is failing/freezing often lately)

  • Pingback: Tranquil WHS Add-in Pack()

  • Pingback: AVA CD Ripping Add In to be included on all new Leo HS4 orders - Using Windows Home Server()

  • NRG

    If you want redundant data storage Tranquil LEO HS4 is not ready to server you, read on…

    As a LEO4 user I cannot argue with the facts on the hardware, great low profile and performance is fantastic. The show stopper though is the very poor Data redundancy support Tranquil PC has adopted since WHS2011 deprecated the Drive Expander from the original WHS.

    Tranquil PC has deployed a branded version of DriveBender calling it MonStor. It is proving to be a real monster! Far from delivering the reliability that Tranquil PC herald it is buggy and presents a high risk strategy for non-IT literate users in its current state. It is still very much BETA, with significant flaws I have experienced first-hand based on the current available version v1.1.7.9; including:
    1. Security Access controls on folders and files does not work in a Pooled drive.

    2. Client Backup’s crash the backup service when running in a pooled drive.

    3. Server Folders go ‘Missing’ and need to be restored in the console! Sometimes losing ALL data they contained!
    As such any user expecting to get data security form their Tranquil PC Leo HS4 had better think again.

    I have reverted back to using my SQA-5H WHS v1 box for now, and have a very expensive unused ‘test’ WHS2011 LEO HS4 waiting for a stable Hard Drive pooling solution. Current options I am playing with are:

    DriveBender – http://www.drivebender.com/ (This is the one Tranquil PC are re-branding, and like any re-brand are likely to always be behind the version curve by at least x1)

    StableBit DrivePool – http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool

    The StableBit DrivePool is the current best performer, based on a comparison with the MonStor version of DriveBender which is at v1.1.7.9 as I do not have access to the closed BETA DriveBender v1.1.8.2

  • Pingback: The Home Server Challenge « Nigel Gibbons ~ Welcomes you()

  • Pingback: Tranquil PC Launch Leo HS4 Special Edition Windows Home Server 2011 - Using Windows Home Server()

  • Pingback: AVA CD Ripping Add In to be included on all new Leo HS4 orders - Connected Digital World()

  • Pingback: Tranquil WHS Add-in Pack - Connected Digital World()

  • Pingback: Tranquil PC Launch Leo HS4 Special Edition Windows Home Server 2011()

  • Pingback: Stream audio and video to your iPhone / iPad from WHS2011()

  • Pingback: How To Recover A Tranquil PC Leo HS4 Windows Home Server 2011 Box()