For starters, this device will boast five bays, and users can mix, match, upgrade and swap drives at will, just like any other Drobo. It'll also support network backups of Macs and PCs, and while you won't find a Time Machine stamp, the Time Tamer app available in the DroboApps portal will enable support for Mac loyalists who insist on using that over Data Robotic's (likely superior) solution. It also ships with a BitTorrent client that keeps your transfers humming even when your PC is off, and it'll handle iTunes, UPnP and DLNA streaming to boot. Firmware upgrades will be handled over the network, and users can poke around for even more applications by visiting the company's website. One app that stood out to us, however, was one that'll be thrown in by the recently renamed Oxygen Cloud; in essence, this will allow users to turn their Drobo FS into "the cloud," enabling colleagues or kids to remotely access the Drobo as if it were some faraway, magical data drive connected to a mythical T3. Yeah, this definitely feels more like a corporate thing than anything else, but it's certainly something that you won't find on those "other" NAS drives. It should be noted, however, that the app will only support a single user for free -- if you're buying for a corporation or small business, you'll need to hit up Oxygen Cloud to procure a multi-user license.
Aside from nabbing SMB and AFP support, Mark told us that users could reasonably expect to see file transfers between 30MB/sec and 40MB/sec, but that's obviously subject to vary based on strain. As for pricing? Data Robotics told us that the new Drobo FS will be on sale globally today through the typical channels (Amazon, CDW, B&H Photo, Dell and NewEgg), with the empty unit selling for $699. A 4.5TB model (1.5TB x 3) will go for $999, while a 7.5TB version (5 x 1.5TB) lists for $1,149 and a 10TB edition (2TB x 5) for $1,449. Or you could just enter to win one here. Oh, and as for that DroboShare we mentioned earlier? It's being phased out with the introduction of the Drobo FS, so if you're jonesing for one, you might want to get that order placed.