Synology Releases DS216j Entry-Level 2-Bay NAS

If you haven’t invested in a NAS for your home yet, then it might be time to do so as it can make your digital life so much easier by being a centralized storage and media centre. Synology officially released the newest model of theirs and it might be the perfect unit as your first one. The new DS216j is built around Marvell’s Armada 385 dual-core 1 GHz CPU and it comes with 512MB DDR3 memory onboard.

The DiskStation DS216j is able to deliver a great performance despite the low-sounding specifications and can deliver an outstanding read/write performance of 112.75 MB/s in reading and over 97.6 MB/s in writing when connecting from a Windows environment. The system is equipped with a single RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports for high-speed storage and other USB devices .

The DS216j is focused on home and personal use where it allows you to build your own personal cloud or served as their centralised multimedia server effortlessly. Backup and sync files across NAS’, PCs, and mobile devices as easy as a few clicks to initialize a job after which everything runs on its own. You can also stream files to DLNA media players and devices, Chromecast, or Airplay with ease as well as attach USB speakers for direct playback from the NAS itself.

The DS216j is a budget and entry-level unit which shows in a few places. These aren’t bad things, just things that can cut production costs and provide you with a cheaper product such as fewer connection ports and the not having ejectable drive bays. Users can also adjust the LED indicators brightness based on four different settings as well as schedule it on demand.

Synology’s DiskStation DS216j is now available worldwide and comes with an RRP of just £126.00 including VAT or €145.00 excluding VAT. The DS216j NAS is backed with a 2-year limited warranty.

Synology DS216se 2-Bay Entry-Level and Cloud NAS Review

Introduction


I’ve reviewed quite a few high-end NAS lately and that isn’t the right match for everyone, maybe because you just have a limited budget or you just don’t need more. Today I’m taking a closer look at the Synology DS216se, a budget friendly 2-bay NAS that allows you to set up your own personal cloud for your files and backups as well as serving as traditional NAS for file storage and media streaming.

The Synology DS216se isn’t just a budget-friendly NAS when you purchase it, it keeps being a cost-effective NAS thanks to the low power consumption of just 14 watts while accessing and 5 watts when the hard drives go into sleep mode. You can further lower the running costs with the new scheduled power on and off feature. After all, there is no need to have the NAS running when you don’t need it.

Synology built the DS216se with a 32-bit Marvell Armada 370 (88F6707) ARM v7-based SoC that comes with built-in floating point engine, 256K L2 cache, and running at 800MHz. Along with the CPU, the DS216se features 256MB DDR3 memory soldered onto the PCB.

The built-in floating-point unit enhances the overall performance of the CPU, but it is particularly advantageous in speeding up thumbnail creation when uploading large amounts of photos or videos. The DS216se can deliver an average speed of 102 MB/s while reading and over 59 MB/s while writing in a RAID 1 configuration from a Windows environment. The NAS also features two USB 2.0 ports for printers or storage and one Gigabit Ethernet port for connectivity.

Synology’s QuickConnect allows a DDNS setup with much less hassle than the traditional DDNS providers offer. You can skip your network configuration and eliminate the manual port forwarding, make it work for all your NAS users, and even use it without a public IP address. That makes it easy to access your data from anywhere, may you be away or at home and whether you use a stationary or a mobile device.

This makes it extremely easy to create your personal cloud setup, freeing you up from costly monthly plans as well as the risk of large level data breaches. Store everything safely at home and access it securely via encrypted connections. The link expiry dates also ensure file sharing over the Internet is highly secure.

You can easily connect from Windows, Mac, and Linux systems with the use of FTP, SMB2, AFP, NFS and WebDAV with network recycle bin where supported. The Cloud Station is a simple way to back up everything to your NAS and it also supports Apple Time Machine for the Mac OS users. You can create backup jobs to and from the NAS, to other NAS, and to public cloud services such as Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, SFR, and Hicloud. You can also sync your NAS with Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, hubiC, and Baidu Cloud. So no matter what type of backup and in what direction, this NAS can do it.

Backup and syncing are just one thing, but the main feature of a NAS is still to store files and serve these in various scenarios. Next to the normal file sharing for app common operating systems, the DS216se also supports streaming to Samsung TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku. The Photo Station, Video Station, and Audio Station apps allow you to build easy to navigate libraries and watch the content on pretty much any system, essentially turning your NAS into an entertainment hub.

The File Station app is a fast and secure feature for sharing and managing your files stored on DS216se. Just drag-n-drop data from a Mac or a PC to upload your files. Advanced filters make it easy to search for documents, photos, and videos and it also comes with a built-in FTP and email client. The DS216se also lets you organize and share files through an advanced web application where you can even share files and folders with others by simply sending a link. Files can be reached on mobile devices via the companion mobile app DS file while HTTPS and SSL/TLS encryption, as well as link expiry dates ensure file sharing over the Internet is as secure as it can be.

Synology got a long list of other mobile apps available for both your Android and iOS devices, such as the DS note, DS audio, DS video, DS photo+, DS cloud, DS file, DS download and DS cam apps. They allow you to access and manage the contents of your DS216se with smartphones and tablets. Thanks to the previously mentioned QuickConnect, it makes this just as easy while you’re on the road as when you’re at home and connected to the same local network.

The Synology DS216se is built-in a classic 2-piece design with a large fan at the rear that needs to be taken apart to install or switch hard disk drives. By default, the DS216se only supports 3.5-inch drives, but optional 2.5-inch adapters can be purchased should you want to use smaller HDD or SSDs.

Feature Highlights

  • Floating point unit enabled for multimedia processing
  • Affordable 2-Bay personal cloud for file sharing & backup
  • Consumes only 5.12W in hibernation
  • Scheduled power on/off further reduces energy consumption
  • DLNA®-Certified media server
  • Running on Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)

Packaging and Accessories

The Synology DS216se package follows the simple and eco-friendly design and it comes without any fancy and unnecessary colourful print. Both the front and the back showcase a big Synology NAS logo, so there is no doubt what’s inside.

The side has a sticker showing you what is inside with a picture of the device itself, what hardware it has, and what content the box has inside.

Unpacking the box we find a Quick Installation guide to get you going, an RJ45 LAN cable for network connectivity as well as a power supply brick with connector cable for the region you purchased it in and screws for the drives and enclosure.

AMD Radeon R7 250XE Starts Appearing In Japanese Stores

It looks like AMD have launched a card, but neglected to tell anyone about it. The new Radeon R7 250XE may not be the most exciting card in AMDs range, actually it’s pretty much destined to be one of the least exciting, but it’s still important none the less. The new card appears to have been launched to counter the Nvidia GeForce GT 730/740 range.

The entry-level card features a low-profile, single slot design, so it may be a tempting option for compact HTPC and office style system, or just those who need a to upgrade from an on-board GPU solution. The card is said to be based around a 28nm Cape Verde refresh, features 640 stream processors, a 128 bit wide GDDR5 memory interface and is equipped with 1GB of memory. Core clock is 860 MHz and 4.5GHz for memory. The card is priced around $60-70 and we’re uncertain if it’ll be launching to a wider market, since AMD haven’t even told anyone about the original launch.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Lenovo IdeaTab S6000 10.1″ Android Tablet Review

Introduction


Since the launch of Apple’s world-renowned iPad a few years ago, the way in which we interact in our digital lives has been revolutionised to the point where we now feel lost if we can’t get online; whether it be for social or entertainment purposes or for business use in multitude of ways. Before tablets were around with such a presence as they are today, laptops and desktop computers was the only real way of getting online as even the world of smartphones was in its infancy, just before the iPhone was released.

Since those historic days when the first iPhone and iPad went on sale, the work of mobile connectivity through tablets, smartphones and now today’s Ultrabooks has advanced in leaps and bounds taking us into a world that only a few people could have imagined before. In today’s world and within the marketplace there is are so many different tablets and smartphones on offer, it is almost impossible to list all of them; from the market leading models right down to the rock bottom basic devices that cost very little to get hold of. It’s easy to say that if you want to get a tablet or smartphone, the chance of getting a device that suits your taste is very strong and this is why they are now more popular than we would have thought only a few years ago.

Like every other part of the technology world, the tablet market has devices at virtually every price level and whilst there are loads of people who are willing to buy the latest iPad for upwards of $500 / £400, this price is way over the top for another large group of users and this is where the Android based tablets come steaming through. At only a fraction of the cost, but still offering some of the best features on the market, it is no surprise that the Android operating system is the OS of choice on a large number of top-selling products out there.

Whilst I can spend all day talking about the best devices out there to go for, cost is still an issue to a number of users, and even £300 is bit over the top and this is also the case fo devices that are just over the £200 barrier. Fortunately this is where Android comes through once again with devices even available for around the £100 mark. The tablet that I’m having a play with today falls in to the entry-level to mid-range group of devices and at around £170-180 it is considerably cheaper than the latest iPad mini, but it still has all the features that we would expect to see on a tablet on offer, just for a more bite-size price.

As highlighted above, Lenovo are one of the biggest names out there when it comes to tablets and the band is also well know throughout the laptop market, with the ThinkPad being one of the most successful product lines that they have ever had. More recently Lenovo have been brought right into the limelight with the release of the Yoga 2 Pro  – a touch screen laptop that has four different modes in which it can operated, as demonstrated on a series of TV commercials. Besides the ThinkPad product family, the IdeaTab group of products has been created to offer users the best games, music and video whilst staying very much affordable. The IdeaTab family is then split into two smaller groups with the A-series for totally entry-level devices with the most affordable prices and the S-series for a slightly higher price with enhanced multimedia features, sleeker designs and better displays.

The IdeaTab S6000 as one will easily guess is part of the higher performing products in the IdeaTab range, although it is still an entry-level to mid-range product. As seen on the specifications below, the S6000 has all the key assets that we expect to see on a tablet and starting at £179 for a 16GB model, is considerably cheaper than some of the top selling tablets.

Inside the box alongside the tablet we get a typical set of accessories for a mobile device such as the S6000 with a micro-USB cable and mains power adaptor for charging the tablet – although any powered USB port is enough to charge the IdeaTab from. On top of that there is a couple of bits of paperwork for reference by the way of a quick start guide and warranty manual.

On the back of the box, Lenovo list the full specification of the S6000 and we can see that it comes with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 with a variable clock speed of up to 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage topped off with 802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth v4.0 and a 1280×800 10.1″ IPS panel to seal everything in. The IdeaTab also comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean as standard.