CES 2014: Gigabyte BRIX MAX is Haswell based Android NAS Device

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2014 - 05:31 PM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2014, gigabyte, brix, brix max, haswell, Android, NAS

While browsing the Gigabyte suite at CES I came across a very interesting new product from Gigabyte that falls into the Brix family.  The Brix Max is a larger version of the Brix SFF chassis (taller) that includes support for four 2.5-in hard drives.  Powered by a 4th Generation Intel Core (Haswell) Core i5-4250U processor, this system is aimed towards the NAS market.  In particular, those that want tiny NAS devices.

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With a total fluid capacity of 1.2 liters (please don't fill your Brix with liquid...), the Brix Max includes a USB flash port, 802.11n Wi-Fi, HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet and four USB 3.0 ports.  Maybe more surprising is the fact that this unit was running Android and marks the first time we have seen a Haswell platform running the OS.

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Gigabyte demoed the Brix Max powering a handful of networked devices and providing media content and backup storage for all sorts of other operating system.  I am still not sure what kind of software was running on the Android OS to facilitate the NAS functionality but the Max includes the ability to set users, partition different share locations and more.  Hopefully we'll be able to get a sample in at the offices to test out and let our readers know how an Android-based NAS can perform.

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January 9, 2014 | 06:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

A Corei5 to run....Android? Seems like huge processing overkill for serving up files. Why not put in a Corei3 or a, gasp, Celeron or Pentium, and cut the price down?

January 9, 2014 | 06:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wait, what I am thinking? Why not an Atom processor?

January 10, 2014 | 02:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't think Atom CPUs are powerful enough for on the fly transcoding for dlna streaming

January 9, 2014 | 07:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It does seem like a lot of power limited to a NAS to be only used by other Android devices as far as I can tell?

A generic Linux OS seems to make more sense since could configure it to be used by almost any other OS.

January 10, 2014 | 02:56 AM - Posted by biohazard918

Android seems like an odd chose especially with some thing with as much power as a mobile i5 I really want to see this reviewed. I would have thought something like one of the baytrail atoms would have been a better chose abnd some version of Linux if they didn't want to add the cost of a windows license. Seems just down right odd i'm curious about how well it preforms and what the pricing will be please review it if you can.

January 10, 2014 | 02:36 PM - Posted by LWATCDR (not verified)

Android could be for the ecosystem. Android is a layer over Linux so you are using a version of Linux. I could see this to allow things like the Netflix app, Hulu and so on run. You might also see some gaming.

January 10, 2014 | 03:19 AM - Posted by Jim Cherry (not verified)

reason they used android is for the pr they're probably using just the kernel and not the java bits. I also don't get why they would use an i5 for one of these either even if it does vid streaming/encoding its not going to be used to its fullest for 90 percent of the other tasks a nas does.

January 13, 2014 | 01:34 PM - Posted by GCustom (not verified)

Can you put Windows or Full Linux on this? It seems to have many good uses if the gimmick of running Android is sidestepped.

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