The Synology DS-212+ is a little black box that is just a little wider than three hard drives standing on their side. Two drives’ width is occupied by two actual drives, while third’s space is occupied by the motherboard and little bit of air.
The plastic drive bay cover keeps the compartment lightly sealed while several LEDs indicate the status of the device, from a generic status LED showing good or error states, LAN activitiy, disk drive access, copy activity, and simple power status. There’s also a USB 2 port and an SD card slot. One of the fantastic benefits of a Synology device over many of its competitors is that handy SD slot for quick backups of cameras and such.
The rear has the exhaust fan that keeps the unit cool, as well as the dual USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet port, and power port. There is also a lock port for folks who need to keep grabby hands from stealing the device entirely. The bottom has some rubber feet to keep it slightly elevated and to keep it from moving on a slippery surface. Note the lack of an eSATA port. eSATA is arguably waning in relevance as USB 3.0 catches on.
The device is sufficiently minimalisic to sit among AV equipment, but its bright, flashing LEDs may be a distraction. It’s probably be relegated to a closet, desk-side cabinet, or that spacious new server rack with a shelf out in your garage.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.