|Synology DS212j Specifications|
|Processor||Dual Core 1.067 GHz ( Freescale P1022)|
|Operating System||Embedded Linux|
|Memory||512 MB DDR3|
|Storage||2x 3.5"/2.5"* SATA II|
*(With optional 2.5" Disk Holder)
|RAID Levels:||Single Disk, JBOD, RAID 0, 1|
|Capacity||up to 8 TB (disks not included)|
|iSCSI||Target & Initiator|
|Networking||1x 10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet|
|Additional Connectors||USB 3.0 Port X 2, USB 2.0 Port X 1, eSATA Port X 1, SD Card Port X 1|
|Dimensions||165(H) x 108(W) x 233.2(D) mm|
|Power Consumption||Sleep: 2.64 W|
HDD Hibernation: 10 W
In operation: 22.2 W
(with two Seagate Barracuda LP ST31000520AS 1TB 5900 RPM installed)
|Power Supply||External, 72 W, 100-240 V (EDACPOWER ELEC. Model EA10721A-120)|
|Fan||1x 92 mm|
| Price excluding VAT|
(at the time of the review)
A dual-core CPU, more specifically a Freescale P1002 (PowerPC based), is the brains of the NAS. This CPU integrates a security engine that supports all popular encryption algorithms. The installed memory looks small for today's standards, but we are pretty sure that it will fully cover the needs of this device.
Supported RAID levels are restricted by the two-disk limit. The most likely raid configuration is RAID 1, but the storage capacity can reach 8 TB if the user prefers RAID 0 or JBOD (Just a Bunch of Drives).
There is only one Ethernet port on the DS213+, although we are used to finding two on high-end NAS servers. The restricted space and the fact that it only takes two hot-swap HDDs probably made Synology equip it with a single port. Thankfully, the NAS has enough USB ports of which two support the new USB 3.0 protocol, and the eSATA and SD card ports greatly enhance its usability.
The DS213+ is fairly compact and will easily fit everywhere in an office or at home. It's pretty light as well. Equally light is its power consumption in every mode. You can easily leave it up and running 24/7 without having to worry about your electricity bill, which is the main advantage of these NAS servers compared to regular PCs that run FreeNAS. Finding a suitable PSU that will only consume 20W during the operation of a PC is very difficult. Most normal ATX PSUs have really poor efficiency at such low loads, and you will have to use a picoPSU or a power brick along with a suitable mainboard to achieve such low energy consumption. Sure, a FreeNAS PC combination may not cost as much as a DS213+, but the NAS will save you a lot of money in the long run. The NAS also has Synology's support if a problem occurs while it operates 24 hours a day. Speaking of power: The power brick that feeds the DS213+ is made by EDACPOWER, and its model number is EA10721A-120. It can provide up to six Amps at +12V, which is enough to meet the needs of this device.
The cooling fan has a 92 mm diameter and is very quiet since it operates at very low RPM most of the time. It covers most of the rear side, so it will do a pretty good job of moving the heat out of the DS213's internals.
The NAS comes with a two-years warranty, which we find to be pretty average. We would like to see a longer warranty on these devices - especially the high-end ones. Unfortunately, both Synology and QNAP, two of the leading companies in this field, only provide two-years warranties with their products. A NAS will, on the other hand, operate 24/7, which makes a two-year warranty mean about twice as much as a two-year warranty on other hardware components (e.g. VGAs, PSUs etc.) The price of the DS213+ is high, but this device targets SMB environments and enthusiast users, which excludes the average Joe.