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Qnap KoiBox-100W review: An intriguing alternative

A versatile and affordable videoconferencing solution with great wireless screen presentation features

A photograph of the Qnap KoiBox-100W
Price
£411 exc VAT (diskless)
  • Private videoconferencing services
  • Simple screen-sharing
  • Highly portable
  • Doesn’t come with cameras or microphones
  • Manual could be clearer

NAS specialist Qnap has lately been expanding into new areas such as network switching. It’s now turning its attention to the SMB videoconferencing market with the KoiBox-100W. It’s a clever concept: a portable appliance that can operate as both an all-in-one conferencing solution and a wireless screen-sharing station for in-person presentations.

If you’re fed up with monthly subscriptions, there’s one feature you’ll like right away. Instead of charging a recurrent fee, the KoiBox is a one-off purchase with all licences included. That gets you support for the most popular conferencing platforms, including Skype, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. The KoiBox will appeal equally to businesses that want to go off-grid, as it can provide private conferencing services too, with Qnap taking care of all user authentication and meeting connections. 

Inside, the KoiBox is powered by a 1.8GHz Intel Celeron 6305 CPU, and it pipes 4K video out of a single HDMI port at the rear. Next to it sit four USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, to which you can connect cameras, speakers, microphones, a keyboard and mouse as required, plus a Gigabit Ethernet socket - although you may not need this as the KoiBox has built-in Wi-Fi 6.

You can’t see it, but there’s one final connector: an internal SFF drive bay, into which you can install an SSD to record your meetings. We were able to slot in and use a 1.92TB Micron SATA SSD with no fuss.

Setting up the KoiBox is very easy. You just connect it to a display and use the included remote-control handset to step through the onscreen setup wizard. This guided us through choosing a language, formatting the SSD and confirming our AV equipment as working (we tried both a Logitech ConferenceCam Connect and a Poly Studio P15 system, and had no problem with either).

Once setup is complete, the KoiBox presents a colourful homescreen from which you can access all functions using the remote. To share your screen from a PC you just need to enter the IP address of the appliance in Chrome or Firefox, select the wireless projection option and choose whether you want to cast the entire screen, a window or a browser tab.

A photograph of the rear of the Qnap KoiBox-100W

Mobile screen sharing is supported, too: we tried the free KoiCast iOS app on an iPad. This immediately opened with a view of the KoiBox’s screen, allowing us to see what someone else was sharing, or begin a sharing session of our own.

Cloud meetings are easy to set up, especially if you’re using Microsoft Teams, as the KoiBox has native integration with this platform. After we’d assigned one of our Team user accounts to the KoiBox we were right away presented with the standard interface we all know and love. 

For private video calls the appliance uses the KoiMeeter app – the same one as found on Qnap’s NAS appliances, but pre-registered so you don’t have to worry about time limits. Unhelpfully, the user manual neglects to explain how PC and Mac users can join private meetings, but it’s easily done – they just need to point a web browser at the KoiMeeter website and log in with their Qnap account. Remote participants get a picture-in-picture view in their browser, along with video and audio controls, a screen-sharing button and facilities to invite other users up to the maximum of four per meeting.

If remote users are logged into the KoiMeeter web service, they can also be invited to meetings directly from the KoiBox by entering their personal KoiCode. This is one reason you might want to connect a keyboard: the remote control works, but it’s tedious having to use it to flick through the onscreen dial-pad.

Mobile users can use the KoiMeeter app for iOS and Android to start meetings and accept requests from the KoiBox, or they can bypass the KoiBox entirely and use the app to conduct private meetings amongst themselves.

The KoiBox-100W is an intriguing alternative to the mainstream providers. Once you’ve added the cost of a 4K camera and audio equipment it isn’t much cheaper than a budget video bar, but it’s easy to set up and use, it will appeal to SMBs wanting private videoconferencing services, and the screen-sharing capabilities are a nice bonus. 

Qnap KoiBox-100W specifications

Chassis

Desktop chassis  

CPU

dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Celeron 6305 CPU  

GPU

Intel UHD Graphics  

Memory

4GB DDR4 RAM  

Storage

30GB M.2 SSD  

PSU

external PSU  

Network

Gigabit Ethernet, Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6  

Other ports

1 x SFF internal bay. 4 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, HDMI 1.4b  

Dimensions (WDH)

232 x 152 x 45mm 

Weight

1.1kg  

Warranty

3yr hardware warranty 

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