I am going to reply to myself but because of unheard of price/performance/functionality/footprint combinations we are approaching a new era of distributed computing and storage and currently there are some trail blazers with examples such as the Rock & oDroid boards mentioned previously.
Centralized NaS is dead and a cul-de-sac and a more correct term is a NaC that will coordinate and control a series of distributed containers and devices.
We will have (Network area Co-ordinators) that will facilitate a distributed NaS but NaS is no longer a single device.
We already have devices Alfawise Z28 pro has gigabit interfaces, with dual-band 2.4G + 5.8G WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 with 2Gb ram and 8Gb eMMC for £26.25!
We have some boards currently that are a little rough round the edge and a SoC with native Sata and 2x USB 3.1 is going to arrive at one point as SoC manufactures are going to stop embedding specific hardware and make cheaper more modular systems.
When it comes to NaC/Application firewall/DHCP/DNS/Loadbalancer yes we are likely to see on a sub $50 board.
Even at home the need for HMI (Human Machine Interfaces) necessitates multi-devices that often need a local HMI connection.
Displays, keyboards, mice, speakers, microphone, webcam and so on.
Its natural to have multiple distributed devices where the lounge, bedroom and kitchen can consist of 3 or more devices that could very well be part of a distributed cluster for both process & storage.
Devices are going to become extensible and expandable vertically in stacks and horizontally as additional distributed devices.
A NaS will not be device level but a protocol and infrastructure where NaC’s will seamlessly and simply automated and control device distribution and addition.
The best cheap hardware to run Nextcloud on isn’t a device but devices.
For me currently the cheapest best distro is libreelec with the linuxserver.io docker service running their Nextcloud container its an absolute doddle to install.
Then with Kodi add Chromium as a program and you get the benefit of LibreElecs “Just enough” formula that with browser, nextcloud & kodi its “just enough” to do about everything.
Nextcloud needs to start looking further into federation, distributed file storage and load balancing and its all part of the distributed device / container cluster infrastructure.
Nextcloud needs to become more distributed in terms of infrastructure as nothing is limited to single device any more in terms of extensible expansion.