Synology is one of the few NAS vendors to successfully pull through multiple units in our labs without any showstopper failures. The quality and breadth of the feature set offered in the DSM (Disk Station Manager) firmware is unrivaled in the SMB / SOHO NAS industry. Out of the very few factors that might force users to reconsider going the Synology route is the pricing of their units.

In order to cater to budget-conscious consumers (and users trying to experiment with their first NAS), Synology carries the j series (DS112j / DS212j / DS413j etc.). These products are all based on a single core Marvell ARMADA 300 SoC, the Marvell 6281. The single-threaded single custom Marvell ARM core runs at 1.2 GHz in the MV6281 SoC. Today, Synology is updating the j series lineup with the 2-bay model for 2013, the DS213j.

In order to make the DS213j an attractive option for consumers, Synology is using a FPU-enabled version of the 6281. The amount of DRAM is also being doubled from the previous generation (the new model has 512 MB of x16 DDR3 DRAM). The presence of a FPU should make some of the tasks such as photo viewing / thumbnail generation faster.

The DS213j runs on DSM 4.2 with all its feature-rich apps. Synology promises compatibility with future versions also. The unit is slated to start shipping worldwide today (Availability in the US is slated for later this month). I will update the article with pricing information later today (Update: The MSRP is USD 219.99).

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  • thebigfudge - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I have a DS211J with the latest DSM (4.2). It is rock solid, I have never had any issues with it. I have it running 24 hours a day as a backup destination and file server. The Synology apps are commendable, I use CloudStation as a Dropbox replacement (on desktop at least, their mobile apps are not quite there). You can certainly stream music from it, and I have hosted photo albums using it, but the performance is what you should expect from this tier. In other words, it is slow. Multiple-gig file transfers on LAN are quick enough. The DSM user interface is highly polished and is very well documented. That said, I am finding the Linux underpinnings more and more handy. I installed a JVM and run some Java apps that require 24/7 polling. It's a decent sandbox for screwing around with a server without getting involved in a full blown development machine.
  • patters - Saturday, June 15, 2013 - link

    This model is the first product to use an ARMv7 processor (Marvell Armada 370 SoC), and the FPU is a significant speed bump for these entry level units. I have updated my third party packages for Java, Serviio, and CrashPlan to support it, by cross compiling the various native dependencies:

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