Small, very small, very quiet and almost curious about the shape, the DiskStation DS419slim is anything but a game or an enigma but an excellent solution suitable for the small office, the living room or the advanced amateur, looking for uncompromising hardware in in terms of fluidity and speed of access.
All with very interesting design and practical solutions that could lead, from now on, to standardize the category of NAS on SSD.
Synology DiskStation DS419slim, the review
The port is rear
We are not kidding about the dimensions, the DiskStation DS419slim is really small: out of the box the NAS has a shape that fits in a hand, about 120 x 105 x 142 mm (for a weight of 0.66 kg when empty) which is not really a cube. but he just misses.
In addition to this inside the box there are two Ethernet cables, a bag with screws and the (external) power supply.
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Obviously the small NAS fits comfortably in the place of the older brothers, who use to stay in the Rack cabinets or in special rooms in the office, but given its slim size and the charge from behind, another originality, we see it well also at home, alongside to the TV, even if in this case the front LEDs are perhaps overly zealous.
The housing of the four 2.5 ″ SSD drives (it would be a waste to put mechanical drives in a product like this) takes place from behind, alongside the two Gigabit RJ45 connectors and one of the two USB-A sockets. An HDMI connector is missing, which would certainly have made the unit much more interesting even for more direct multimedia use, and a USB-C connector, perhaps in place of USB-A 3.0, which would have taken advantage of the higher speed of SSDs.
On the front there are 6 LEDs, one for storage unit plus two for the network and a second USB-A socket: on the side of the front, there are the power button and an operating LED.
SSD, by force more than by choice
For storage we opted for professional 2.5 ″ SSD drives, the Angelbird AVpro mkII in various denominations, a little known brand in Italy but which had already impressed us with our test on the Synology DiskStation DS218 +.
Angelbird SSDs are of the Pro type, therefore ideal to use in a model suitable for a work context like this.
During the tests we tried various types of configurations, ending up opting for a RAID 0, since it was only a backup of files suitable, in fact, for the test of the device. The speeds proposed by Synology are 223 MB / s in reading and 94 MB / s in writing (let's imagine in RAID 0), good enough for professional use and more than good for the amateur one.
In reality, the DiskStation DS419slim allows the use of different RAID modes: 1, 5, 6 and 10 with redundancy, Raid 0 without redundancy and obviously also single drives and in JBOD mode.
The coupling takes place through the classic system of screws, which we find inside the package, with a quick operation of no more than a few minutes.
The system of external disks in EXT4 provides a maximum capacity, in RAID 0, up to 20 TB (4 drives of 5 TB each), with a limit of 16 TB per volume, more than optimal in the scale of the product, even for professional use.
The only flaw is given by the support for external disks, without limits for EXT4, EXT3, FAT32 and NTFS while for HFS + the support is read-only for disks up to 2TB and exFAT, which can be purchased separately through the App Store (4 Euro), choice shared by other manufacturers probably due to licensing issues but which we would have preferred integrated into the price.
DSM, for fine palates
Once the four units have been positioned, we started by locating the NAS and proceeding to the first installation via browser, for which you do not need to be an expert and just follow the instructions for a good result (with a little patience) while for further customizations it is better to read up first. , because getting the RAID level wrong is a huge hassle if we find out after putting the data in.
The version of DSM we tested was 6.2.2-24922 and as in other cases, it is one of the best network operating systems currently on the market, both from the point of view of interface and usability as well as for functionality. integrated and for the maturity of the App Store.
Among the most interesting Apps to note are those dedicated to office productivity, email backup, synchronization with the cloud, Moments for managing photos from smartphones, those for development and the multimedia part, where for this now it is our custom to use the evergreen Plex.
Great maturity also in the use of smartphone apps, tested here on the iPhone 8, in many ways better than the version we tested at the time on the Synology DiskStation DS218 +, a sign that the sector is given the right importance.
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During the road test, the small Synology DiskStation DS419slim gave great proof of itself even with a limited archive, in the face of what we are used to using with its mechanical brothers (with capacities that reach double digits).
All the services appeared very good, from Plex that appeared snappy and ready on all titles such as backup systems, monitoring via browser or mobile App as well as some tests we carried out on different Apps, all based on the ARM MARVELL Armada Dual-core 1.33 GHz CPU, an engine not from Formula 1 but optimized for use in this perspective.
Beyond the hardware, which appeared to be suitable for office and home use, it is DSM that does the lion's share, always ready and efficient.
If we wanted to make a criticism we could say that at times, in some phases of personalization, DSM is a bit too verbose not so much in the preferences as in the document management phases, especially when you go to multimedia services.
But this is a consideration made by those who try many different systems for work and inevitably find themselves comparing them, on the other hand there is the user who, after having assimilated the basic routines, will not notice it anymore.
Synology DiskStation DS419slim is a good product, excellent from many points of view, which is capable of introducing some notes of original design without causing any perplexity, even if generally the use of an all SSD NAS is already a factor in itself. very uncommon in the office, more designed for the home.
The silence is very good (also due to the absence of mechanical discs) and the use is recommended for those who need quick access to a limited number of documents (so to speak, because with an important expense it is still easy to double amount in TB available) in the office, or to the advanced amateur who wants a multimedia library at home (but needs a player like Apple TV), without having to submit to the dull sound of the mechanical units.
Finally, like many NAS drives that have arrived on the market in the last year, the Synology DiskStation DS419slim is also suitable for use in favor of GDPR regulations, thanks to disk encryption, even if only for the selected documentation.
• Quiet and small, it fits everywhere • The rear entrance of the units is interesting • DSM is a mature and efficient operating system
• A little expensive • No HDMI port • No USB-C port
• 439.32 Euro (approximately)
Synology DiskStation DS419slim is present in large chains of appliance stores, but you can also find it on Amazon.it at the price of 439.32 Euros.
For the test we used Angelbird AVpro mkII units in various configuration types.