The DiskStation DS414slim is a small but capable NAS appliance that could serve a small workgroup, or work well at home thanks to its size and low price
Compact enclosure; fits up to 8TB of storage; runs the same platform as full-size Synology devices
Only fits 2.5in Sata drives; documentation could be improved
£229 inc VAT (without drives)
Model: DiskStation DS414slim
Chassis: Compact desktop
Processor: Marvell 1.2GHz Armada 370
Memory: 512MB DDR3
Storage: Four drive bays for 2.5in Sata 3 drives (up 2TB each)
Platform: Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) 4.2
Host connectivity: Two 1Gbps Ethernet ports
Ports: 2x USB 3.0
Synology's DiskStation DS414slim is a small-footprint network attached storage (NAS) appliance designed to occupy minimal space for home and small business users, but offering many of the capabilities of the firm's larger units as it runs the same DiskStation Manager (DSM) software.
Available for several months now, the DS414slim is claimed by Synology as being small in size, but large in features.
It achieves its diminutive form factor by being based solely on the smaller 2.5in Sata drives similar to those typically found in laptops, as well as featuring fewer external ports than other DiskStation models.
However, despite its compact dimensions, the device runs the same DSM software as Synology's much larger units, which means that it offers many of the same capabilities.
This includes Raid support and the ability to act as a file and print server for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, as well as to serve as a backup target for computers on the network and operate as a media server.
With all this functionality, the DS414slim is ideal as an entry-level network server for a small company or workgroup, but its small size and the ease of use afforded by the latest DSM release allow it to function as a media server and shared storage for a home network.
Potential buyers should be aware, however, that the relatively low price of £229 including VAT for the DS414slim is for the bare unit without drives. Customers will have to source the drives separately, or purchase the DS414slim via a distributor that can supply the drives also.
Buyers should also be aware that using Raid protection means that they will not get the full capacity of the drives they fit, because multiple copies of data blocks are stored in case a single drive in the array fails.