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The AOOSTAR R1 is a small and affordable desktop computer with a 6-watt Intel N100 quad-core processor based on Intel’s Alder Lake-N architecture. But we’ve seen a lot of those in recent months. This model has a few things that make it stand out, including room for up to two 3.5 inch hard drives and two 2.5 GbE Ethernet ports, making this little computer a practical solution for folks looking to build their own network-attached-storage (NAS) device or media server, among other things.

First teased earlier this month, the AOOSTAR R1 is now available for pre-order from Amazon and the AOOSTAR website. Prices start at $269 (when you apply an on-page coupon), and the computer should begin shipping by November 10.

The starting price represents $50 off the list price of $319, and gets you a model with 16GB of DDR4-3200 memory and a 512GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD. It’s possible we could see lower-cost barebones configurations in the future, but users can also bring their own memory and storage: the system has a user replaceable M.2 2280 SSD and a single SODIMM slot for memory.

You can also remove the top cover to access the computer’s two 3.5 inch drive bays, which make it easy to add up to two high-capacity hard drives or SSDs.

Other features include dual fans for cooling, support for up to three 4K displays, courtesy of HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB Type-C ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and two USB 3.x ports as well as two USB 2.0 ports and a microSD card reader.

The dual 2.5 GbE Ethernet ports have Intel I226-V controllers, and the system also supports WiFi 6.

According to the Amazon product page, the AOOSTAR R1 will launch October 26th, but it will take 7-15 days for the computer to ship from China. Faster shipping should be available starting in mid-November or early December, after the computer reaches US warehouses.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this design: last year Chinese companies including Topton began selling a similar system called the NAS N1, and earlier this year we saw companies including Topton and AOOSTAR introduce a higher-performance model called the NAS N1 Pro. But all of those models were powered by AMD processors (with early models featuring AMD Athlon Silver 3050e or Athlon 300U chips, and newer models available with Ryzen 5 5500U or Ryzen 7 5700U processor options).

The new AOOSTAR R1 is the first I’ve seen to feature an Intel Alder Lake-N processor. These chips, which feature 12th-gen Intel Efficiency cores, but no Intel Performance cores, are designed to be low-cost, energy-efficient processors that offer significantly better performance than previous-gen Intel Celeron and Pentium chips based on Intel Atom architecture.

Meanwhile folks who are looking for a more powerful mini PC or storage device might want to consider the AOOSTAR R7 with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor. With a list price of $459 (and a sale price of $419 at the moment), it’s about $150 more expensive than the AOOSTAR R1 with an Intel N100 processor. But you the AMD processor should deliver significantly better performance, and the AMD version has two SODIMM slots for memory and two M.2 2280 slots for solid state storage, while the cheaper Intel model has just one of each.

That said, the new Intel N100 model might be more attractive for folks looking for a cheaper, more energy-efficient solution, as it has a 6 watt processor rather than the 15-watt chip powering the AMD model. And that could come in handy for a home server that you may plan to run 24/7.

This article was first published October 23, 2023 and most recently updated October 23 with the latest pricing and availability details.

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  1. Hi, dear editor.
    I am representing the AOOSTAR brand. I’ve been trying to reach you through other contacts but couldn’t get through. Our brand would like to invite you to participate in the testing of the first products of the Ryzen 7 5700U Nas Mini PC (expected to go live in December)!

    1. Hi Joyce!
      Have you considered getting in touch with a few more youtubers? I’ve seen something from Craft Computing, but I’d be very curious to see what NASCompares, ServeTheHome, ChrisTitusTech, TechHut or HardwareHaven would have to say about this mini PC!

      1. I’ve actually tried to contact , but it’s really hard to get in touch! I don’t know why, but so far we’ve managed to invite HardwareHaven to test our R1, so please wait for his review!

        1. Went over to ServeTheHome’s youtube channel and asked. Theire reply:
          Q: Will you be testing the AOOSTAR / Topton NAS?
          A: We have not just because we typically test bigger NAS units. We do have the bigger Tooton NAS, but not sure if we are going to do the review since there are a few usability things our team does not love.

          1. Maybe they’ll be interested in the 6sata/6NVME 5800U NAS that our brand is launching in January

    2. I’m glad to read that you will continue with this product line, it greatly interests me! I purchased a Beelink N100 earlier this year on Aliexpress before seeing this product. If I had discovered it earlier, I would have acquired this one. I’ll definitely replace my small home server with one of this model.

  2. Interesting stuff… I was kinda expecting the mini PC brands to eventually start doing something like this, like BeeLink and MinisForum.
    They are already doing some stuff that is more network oriented, small NAS devices would only make sense.
    I’d just like to see if these will work well with something like TrueNAS Scale… been eyeing a product like this because using my old desktop for the job is proving to consume too much power. It’s also a bit too old, so the upgrade would be welcome, even if these NAS boxes won’t be ultra powerful, my old desktop has an ancient Haswell CPU.

  3. I’m not quite clear on how many M.2 SSDs this model supports. The article says 2, but the promotion material has been modified (it’s a direct copy of the ryzen model) to change the “2” to “1“. Isn’t there going to be some PCIe lane limitation as well?

    1. You’re right, it looks like they changed that to indicate that this model has just a single M.2 2280 slot. I’ve updated the article to reflect that. Thanks!

      1. That’s quite the downside! A TrueNAS Scale install requires a separate drive for apps/docker, so that’s an issue. Between that and the single-channel RAM, the AMD version is looking a lot more appealing. You do lose the AV1 decode though…

  4. This would be an outstanding Plex, Emby or Kodi box! Although I hope that the next generation Intel Nx chips do a bit better with the integrated graphics. Those chips are technically designed for laptops, so no reason not to put AV1 encoders and a sufficient amount of graphics compute units in them. Not enough for handbrake or anything like that but plenty sufficient for 4K coding/decoding/playback.

    1. Yes, but that’s deliberate.
      Intel doesn’t want these OEMs to make decent competitors to their core business. That’s why they were intentionally crippled this way, and sold cheaply to quash the competition.

      Remember, it is only SINGLE channel memory. You’d need them to make it dual, increase the iGPU cores, and add all the decoders/encoders. Or you could just give Intel double/triple the money and buy something that has a Core-i processor instead.

      AMD is the much better alternative, but they don’t have the chip capacity that Intel does. So there’s no options or competition in this space. AMD is focusing their chip allotment into markets that are more profitable; like Servers, AI Farms, HEDT, Laptops, and then dGPUs. They don’t have much for SBCs, Netbooks, etc etc unless it’s repurposing old/problematic yields (ergo Mendocino).

      1. I was looking thru the comments in reference to Plex. My 11 yo Zyxel NAS325 died and was looking for a not expensive NAS alternative. Currently running plex on an old Dell Optiplex 9020 and doing fine for my purposes. But have two 3TB drives that I would like to use for storage. Also have a usb TV tuner hooked up to antennas for OTA tv on the Dell. Is the Aoostar a viable option?

    1. I wouldn’t worry so much about ECC for a simple RAID1 setup like your for SOHO duties.

      Would like to see an N305 option though.

    2. AMD has always supported ECC. Intel is the one putting it behind a server CPU. Get the AMD model and use ECC to your heart’s content.

      1. While this is true, the board the processor is on will also need to support ECC for it to work, and not all AMD chips support it. A lot of cheaper boxes leave that out even if they have a supported Ryzen model. If you need it, then you will have to use an AMD-powered device, but check first that ECC is listed as supported for that specific board.