UGREEN DXP480T Plus review: This Thunderbolt 4-enabled all-flash NAS server is magnificent

The DXP480T is significantly smaller than most other NAS servers, and it delivers outstanding performance.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review
(Image: © Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

The DXP480T Plus has a compact form factor that's noticeably smaller than other NAS servers, and that is because it eschews 3.5-inch bays in favor of four M.2 2280 slots. You also get terrific hardware, including an Intel 12th Gen Core i5-1235U, 8GB of DDR5 RAM, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. Granted, the software is still in beta, and there are plenty of features missing. But if you need an all-flash NAS and don't mind waiting on the software, the DXP480T Plus is a no-brainer.

Pros

  • +

    Small form factor with stellar build quality

  • +

    Outstanding hardware

  • +

    Thunderbolt 4 connectivity as standard

  • +

    Four M.2 slots with up to 16TB of addressable storage

  • +

    10 Gigabit Ethernet

Cons

  • -

    Upgrading RAM isn't as straightforward

  • -

    Software clearly in beta

  • -

    No native Plex client yet

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While mechanical hard drives are still the best option for home NAS servers, SSDs are affordable enough that they're a legitimate alternative. Most NAS servers include at least two M.2 drives that give you the ability to augment traditional storage with ultra-fast SSDs, but if you don't want to bother with mechanical drives at all, there's another choice.

UGREEN's DXP480T Plus is one of the most intriguing options in the brand's fledgling portfolio. I reviewed the DXP4800 Plus a few weeks ago, and the 4-bay server has the best hardware configuration in its class. With the DXP480T Plus, UGREEN is taking a different direction — this NAS server is a third of the size as the DXP4800 Plus, and that's because it has just M.2 slots; there's no way to add a standard 3.5-inch HDD.

All-flash NAS storage servers are slowly gaining momentum, and with a 4TB Gen. 4 SSD selling for as low as $226, it isn't hard to see why. SSDs are much more reliable than HDDs as they don't have any moving parts, and if you have a 2.5GbE or 10GbE home network, they have much better headroom.

So if you want to switch to all-flash storage, the DXP480T Plus may just be the best choice right now.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus: Pricing and availability

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

UGREEN unveiled its NASync series on March 26, and unlike most of the brand's offerings, you can't buy the NAS servers via its website or Amazon. That will come later, but for now, you'll need to go the crowdsourcing route; the products are listed on Kickstarter, and you can get your hands on the DXP480T Plus for $519. That's a full 35% off its $799 retail price, and as of writing, there are 639 units (out of 1000) left at this tier.

UGREEN says it will start deliveries by June 2024, and that is in line with the rest of its NAS models being crowdfunded on Kickstarter right now. There's only one variant of the DXP480T Plus, and it comes with 8GB of RAM that can be upgraded to 64GB, four M.2 drive bays, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port with 10Gbps bandwidth.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryUGREEN DXP480T Plus
Internal drive baysFour (4TB each bay), M.2 2280
Network interface1 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet
USB ports1 x USB 3.2 Gen2, 10Gbps
Thunderbolt 4Two
PCIe
HDMIYes, HDMI 2.0b port
CPU4.4GHz 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U
Plex transcodingYes
RAM8GB DDR5 non-ECC, upgradeable to 64GB

UGREEN DXP480T Plus: Design

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Most 4-bay NAS servers are big and bulky, but because the DXP480T Plus doesn't have to deal with 3.5-inch drive bays, it has a diminutive size. The design is more in line with that of a mini-PC, and while the external design is made out of plastic, build quality is excellent. This is a product that looks and feels premium, and while it is significantly smaller than other NAS servers, it has great cooling potential.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

There are vents on three sides that assist in passive cooling, and the underside of the DXP480T Plus has two fans that actively cool the M.2 drive bays. The fans are similar to what you get on most notebooks, and they get loud; I would have preferred a bigger fan with better cooling, but the sheer size of the unit limits it.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

UGREEN bundles a decent set of accessories in the box, including an Ethernet cable, thermal pads to attach to the M.2 SSDs housed in the enclosure, and an installation guide. While it's great to see the brand bundling thermal pads — they're essential in this product — they disintegrated as I was attaching them to the SSDs, so I went with an aftermarket solution.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The front of the NAS has the power button and the brand's tagline, Protect What You Love, highlighted. The standard UGREEN logo would have been better instead, but that is located at the top.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Accessing the M.2 slots is straightforward; there are two screws on the underside, and the panel comes away to reveal the four M.2 2280 slots. What I like about the panel is that the fans are housed inside, and they're connected via magnetic pins to the NAS.

Overall, UGREEN did a terrific job with the design of the DXP480T Plus, and it is one of the smallest all-flash storage solutions around.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus: Ports and connectivity

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The DXP480T Plus houses four M.2 2280 drive bays, and it holds up to a total of 16TB of storage — a maximum of 4TB each drive. There's plenty to like when it comes to the ports, with the NAS offering two Thunderbolt 4 ports along with HDMI out, USB 3.2 Gen 2, and a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The NAS comes with 8GB of DDR5 RAM as standard, and it has two SO-DIMM slots that let you add up to 64GB of total storage. However, accessing these slots is a bit of a hassle as you need to dismantle the bottom housing. That said, you won't need to do it more than once.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What I like about UGREEN's NAS servers is that the brand includes a 128GB M.2 2242 drive out of the box; the web-based OS is housed on this drive, and it makes configuring the DXP480T Plus a breeze.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus: Performance

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Powering the DXP480T Plus is an Alder Lake-based Intel Core i5-1235U. It has 10 cores and 12 threads in total, goes up to 4.4GHz, and is a great choice in a NAS server as you get hardware transcoding. You can't do much with that just yet, as the software itself is still in beta.

UGREEN has a custom OS called UGOS that powers its NAS servers, and it is not in a usable state as of writing. It's clear that this is why the brand took the crowdfunding route instead of releasing the NASync series on its website, and while it's easy enough to see that the software has a lot of potential, that's still some ways away.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus interface

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

The interface itself looks clean, and you get a good set of utilities to monitor storage and tweak the settings of the NAS. There's a global search feature that's pretty nifty, but again, it isn't quite reliable just yet. As such, most of my testing was done in SMB mode, and in that regard, the all-flash storage has plenty to offer. On my 10GbE network, I consistently got writes of over 540MB/s when moving data between servers, with reads of 700MB/s.

That's obviously much more than what you get with an HDD, and you can easily maximize the potential of multi-Gigabit connectivity with the DXP480T Plus. But with regards to media streaming and backing up data, the NAS still has a long way to go.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus: The competition

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

ASUSTOR also has an all-flash storage offering dubbed the Flashstor FS6706T, and it houses six M.2 bays. It doesn't have Thunderbolt 4 connectivity or 10GbE, but you get dual 2.5GbE ports, and three USB ports at the back. The hardware isn't as powerful, with the unit rocking an Intel N5105. And coming in at $449, you aren't getting the best value.

UGREEN DXP480T Plus: Should you buy it?

UGREEN DXP480T Plus NAS review

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

You should buy this if:

  • You want the best hardware package in this segment
  • You want a NAS with a diminutive design
  • You need Thunderbolt 4 connectivity

You shouldn't buy this if:

  • You want polished software out of the box

Ultimately, the DXP480T Plus has the best hardware of any all-flash storage servers around today. The fact that you get dual Thunderbolt 4 ports and 10GbE connectivity allows it to stand out considerably, and even though it is on Kickstarter, $519 is a steal for the caliber of hardware you're getting.

The Core i5-1235U is significantly more powerful than the best home NAS servers, which usually use Intel's N-series designs. And with four M.2 2280 drive bays available, you have enough headroom for storage. The only unknown is the software; UGREEN says it will deliver a usable build by the time these drives go out to backers, and I will update the post at that time to see if the software holds up to established rivals.

That said, UGOS has a solid foundation, and if you don't mind waiting for the stable build to roll out, the DXP480T Plus is a standout choice at $519. That won't be the case once it hits retail availability, so if you want to switch to an all-flash NAS and need to maximize value, you'll need to act now.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • FL Guy
    AC News said:
    UGREEN's DXP480T Plus is a 4-bay NAS server that doesn't take up much room at all, and that's because it has four M.2 2280 slots. Oh, and you get Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, 10GbE networking, and amazing hardware.

    UGREEN DXP480T Plus review: This Thunderbolt 4-enabled all-flash NAS server is magnificent : Read more

    The last I heard, UGREEN had not confirmed that this NAS would support use of the thunderbolt interface to connect to the host computer (as opposed to using it to enable expansion of the NAS storage) although it seems natural and highly desirable imo). Has this been confirmed yet?
    Reply