Synology has built a solid reputation over the years for designing and building high-quality storage devices. Their latest addition - the DiskStation DS1019+ - continues that trend of dependable, easy-to-use network attached storage.
I’ve been using this rig for about a month now and wanted to report on my experiences using it for photography and video production purposes.
In short, this thing has done everything I’ve asked, is easy to set up, and has been a reliable addition to my home office.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the review so you can determine if the DiskStation DS1019+ is for you.
Synology DiskStation DS1019+ Design and Build Quality
As would be expected of a Synology device, the DiskStation DS1019+ is a well-put-together machine that looks and feels the part of a durable and reliable piece of equipment.
The design of the DS1019+ is in keeping with other Synology NAS devices (like the DiskStation DS918+), with a matte black plastic exterior that looks great and for some reason reminds me of something out of Star Wars. I like Star Wars, so that’s a good thing.
The device is small enough to sit on top of my desk without taking up the whole thing, which I definitely appreciate given all the things I have on my desk! It measures about 6.5-inches x 9-inches x 8-inches and weighs in at about 5.5 pounds without drives installed, so it’s a pretty small rig.
On the front of the DS 1019+ are the unit’s five hot-swappable bays, each of which can accommodate a 2.5-inch or a 3.5-inch drive (the unit is expandable to 10 bays with the Synology DX517 if needed). On the right side of the unit are the power button, a USB 3.0 port, and an array of LED indicator lights.
Looking at the back of the unit, you’ll find two large (and quiet!) fans that keep the device cool. Below that are two network ports, a power port, an eSATA port, and a reset button. You’ll also find another USB 3.0 port as well as a Kensington Security Slot on the back.
On the bottom of the DS1019+ are two M.2 NVMe slots for adding SSD cache.
As I noted above, this unit looks great, thanks in large part to all the utilitarian bits being relegated to the back and the bottom. That means you can sit it on your desk and not worry about having a big, ugly storage device in plain sight.
Though a storage device shouldn’t be purchased for its looks, the sleek, black exterior and blue lights are aesthetically pleasing and will complement a clean desktop (or, in my case, a messy one) just fine.
Synology DiskStation DS1019+ Internal Components and Firmware
This storage device is equipped with an Intel Celeron J3455 1.5GHz quad-core processor that’s capable of burst speed of 2.3Ghz.
The combination of this processor and 8GB of RAM (2x4GB DDR3L 1866 SO-DIMM) means that the DS1019+ can deliver read/write speeds of up to 225MB per second. That speed can be achieved even with the data encryption feature enabled.
Aside from the speedy performance when reading and writing data, the DS1019+ has built-in applications for video transcoding to make video work even easier.
It’s also important to note that performance is enhanced even further thanks to the dual M.2 NVMe SSD slots. Though SSD caching is not anything new, the addition of an SSD cache without taking up room in the DS1019+’s bays is something new.
Powering all of this is the Synology DSM OS.
If you’ve used Synology NAS devices before, you’re familiar with how intuitive and easy to use this OS is. Even if you’ve never used a Synology NAS before, you’ll find that you can easily find your way around - it’s that well put together.
If you do any video work at all, you’ll appreciate (as I do) the Video Station and Audio Station applications that allow you to use the two channels of H.264/H.265 4K videos.
Using the aforementioned SSD cache is a breeze as well - the SSD cache screen offers a quick overview of cache details, such as its mode type, RAID type, where it is mounted, the cache usage, the read hit rate, and whether or not it can be repaired or removed.
Synology DiskStation DS1019+ Ease of Use
As noted above, the Synology DSM OS is a joy to use, even if you’ve never used it before. In fact, setting up the DS1019+ is a process that takes only a few minutes, which is something anyone will appreciate, especially folks like me that don’t have the best attention span.
One thing I appreciate about the ease of use of this unit is that you can configure a fast copy operation using software so you can quickly transfer files to an attached USB drive.
This is important because, unlike other NAS devices, the DS1019+ does not have a one-touch file transfer feature. Doing it via software is simple enough, though.
Aside from the easy operation of the OS, the hardware components are easy to use as well.
Adding disk drives is a simple process for both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch versions. If you use a 2.5-inch drive, they attach to the drive sled using four bottom-mounted screws.
However, if you use 3.5-inch drives, installation becomes a tool-free process as they attach to the sled using tension brackets that make installation a much faster process.
Adding SSD cache is also a tool-free procedure.
The drives snap into place using a plastic clip in lieu of the usual M.2 screw that’s so small and difficult to handle.
Synology DiskStation DS1019+ Final Thoughts
More than anything, I appreciate the speed with which this thing can read and write data.
As noted earlier, it’s capable of up to 225MB per second, even with data encryption enabled. I’ve found it to be perfectly suited for my recent forays into video production, for which I have a lot of 4K video transcoding needs.
That, combined with the built-in applications for video transcoding and the dual SSD slots that don’t take up space in the bays, make this one heck of a storage solution for photographers and videographers that demand performance in a small package.
And there’s a ton of space in that small package, too. With five drives, you can get up to 70TB of storage, and by expanding the unit to 10 bays, you can double that storage space. That’s a lot of photos and videos, my friends!
Something else I want to point out is how quiet this thing is. I have a particular pet peeve about fan noise, and in quiet mode, this thing is barely audible. That’s something I really appreciate when I’m trying to work and don’t need the distraction of cooling fans going on and off all day.
In the end, this unit has performed well for me no matter what I’ve thrown at it. If you’re in need of a solid NAS system that offers excellent speed, expandability, and ease of use, the DS1019+ is a solid choice for around $650.00.