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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  • tech6 - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    I love Synology NAS devices for their functionality but their entry level models are usually underpowered and painfully slow.
  • RoboJ1M - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    I have a DS413j.
    For anybody having transfer speed problems with a J series Synology NAS, try setting up Jumbo Frames (MTU 9000) across your network. My write speeds with 2 x WD RED drives jumps from 12MB/s to 50MB/s because of less CPU load on the NAS. In fact, during transfers with JF *on*, CPU usage stays at about 80%, so the HDDs become the bottle neck. Four drives and RAID5 may be a different story. I guess they don't have TCP offload engines? Hopefully checksumming is offloaded to a dedicated chip.
  • TrackSmart - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    Any idea on pricing? I have no idea what "budget-conscious" means in the NAS market, so this post has very little meaning.
  • Cow86 - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    I think the 212j was $170 or so (€170 anyway here in europe...) at launch (not that it's really dropped), so I'd expect the same with the 213j.
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    MSRP is $220, but I expect it to sell in the US at USD 200 (just like the 212j)
  • TrackSmart - Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - link

    Thank you for the responses. I also appreciate that the article has been updated with this very useful piece of contextual information. Excellent.
  • xaueious - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    Can the FPU just be enabled on the Marvell 6281 Kirkwood CPUs? Or is it a hardware option?

    Also, does this have USB 3.0?
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    Pretty sure it is a hardware option (probably fused off by Marvell depending on the pricing at which the SoC was obtained).

    No USB 3.0 (just two USB 2.0 ports)
  • xaueious - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    Supposedly it supports WOL now, unlike the DS212J? Can someone confirm? That's a big deal.
  • wicketr - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - link

    I wonder how this will compare to the DS714. It should be released next month. And rumored is a release of a more more consumer priced version of the DS714. Would love to get something with that Intel chip in it at a reasonable price.

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