2012 is almost upon us and one company that isn’t afraid to suggest “bring it on” is Synology. The company unveiled a pair of new DiskStation NAS servers that include the DS212+ and the DS212. Both of the new Network Attached Storage devices are dual-bay units with the DS212+ aiming at small and medium business and the DS212 as a successor to the DS211. We reviewed the Synology DS211 a couple of months ago and found it to be well worth its sticker price and then some. Today we are looking at the latest offering from the company, the DS212.
And now that we have got our hands on this newest member of the Synology DiskStation family, we are prompted to bring our readers a much awaited review. As always we like to begin by showing the un-boxing of the product. From the sturdy and sound packaging it’s obvious that Synology values and protects their products even after it leaves their warehouses. Since a picture is worth 1000 words take a look for yourself.
Inside the Box
Once you get over the sleek box with an indispensable handle and get around to looking inside, you will find the following included items:
- Synology DS212 Network Attached Storage Appliance
- Documentation – Quick start
- AC power pack/cables
- Screws for attaching drives to HDD trays
- Installation CD for PC and Mac – Guide, setup utility, data replicator 3
Synology DS212 First Impressions
The first striking difference from DS211 model is the black chassis of the DS212. The carved in Synology logo on the side of the unit, with grey and black stripes beneath make the DS212 look more serious for a business.
It may not be easy being Green (Kermit, the Frog), but black equipment tends to blend much better whether at home or at the office.
Unlike the sides of the unit that are matte to the touch, the front of the DS212 is black glossy plastic with LED indicators along the right edge, and ports towards the bottom. In vertical order the LEDs and port are:
- Status LED
- LAN LED
- Disk 1 LED
- Disk 2 LED
- SD card port
- USB 2.0 port
- Reset button
- Power button
A welcomed addition is the SD cart slot that allows a plug and save function for memory cards.
A quick look on the back of the unit shows a 90mm exhaust fan, 2x USB 3.0 ports, RJ45 Gigabit LAN port, Kensington lock and the AC connector and a label with the mac address and serial number. The DS212+ version includes an eSATA port option on the back of the unit.
|Internal HDD/SSD||3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA(II) X2 (Hard drive not included)|
|Max Internal Capacity||6TB (2X 3TB HDD) (Capacity may vary by RAID types) (See All Supported HDD)|
|External HDD Interface||USB 3.0 Port X 2, USB 2.0 Port X 1, SD Card Port X 1|
|Size (HxWxD)||165 X 108 X 233.2 mm|
|Noise Level||19.0 dB(A)|
Hard Drive Installation
Our DS212 review unit provided by Synology shipped with two disks (1TB each) already installed, but when you get the diskless unit it only takes a few screws to put the drives into the HDD racks, no-worries of any over complication – it’s simple, just be sure to use the right screwdriver and not to strip the screws in the process.
Unlike the previous DS211 which required the user to carefully open the case – the DS212 has a different method of installing the hard disk drives. The smooth front fascia that is covering the HDD bays can easily be removed without any tools.
Once the front face has been removed, there are 2x HDD pull-out trays.
To remove a tray from the bay simply tap at the top latch and pull the handle down to release the HDD tray. This revised HDD mechanism is among the biggest physical improvements of the DS212 over the DS211.
The DS212 requires at least one 3.5” or 2.5” SATA hard disks or 2.5″ Solid State Drives (SSD) to be installed. In order to use the 2.5” SATA HDD one would require the Disk Holder (Type C) accessory which is sold separately.
Heads up: the system will format the hard disk and erase all data in some cases. If you use a hard disk with data on it already be sure you back up the data beforehand, otherwise you may loose your pre-existing data.
With this we conclude part one of our DS212 review. The above sections are meant to introduce you to the hardware of this DiskStation, and in summary this product difference from its predecessor in the shell color, a considerable ease of HHD installation, and robust horsepower via the new processor. In the coming Part-two we will follow up on the DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system and capabilities. Stay tuned!