Storage specialist Synology has indicated that it's taking the threat of low-cost competitors seriously, launching the DS115j home-targeted NAS with a recommended retail price a third lower than the model it replaces.
Designed to take over from the company's DS112j, the DS115j retains much of its predecessors design. The single bay supports a single 3.5" SATA hard drive inside its plastic casing, with an optional 2.5" drive caddy available at additional cost. Where its predecessor used the Marvell Kirkwood ARM system-on-chip processor and had just 128MB of memory, however, the DS115j features the newer Armada 370 and 256MB of RAM - albeit with the processor running at a slower 800MHz clockspeed to the former's 1GHz.
As well as certified support for the latest 6TB hard drives - up from the 5TB of its predecessor - the DS115j includes two USB 2.0 ports for additional storage, a single gigabit Ethernet port and cooling from a single 60mm fan. A lower power draw from the Marvell Armada system-on-chip (SoC) processor drops the idle power consumption from 4.4W to 3.85W, although oddly the power draw during drive access has increased from 12.1W to 12.6W. Fan noise, too, has increased in the new model, from a claimed 17.1dBA to 18.1dBA.
The DiskStation Manager (DMS) software supplied comes with the same restrictions in both models, limiting the Cloud Station system to 64 concurrent file transfers and the Download Station to 20. The biggest change comes in performance: the new processor can transfer data from a gigabit network at speeds of up to 103MB/s - a 28 per cent increase over the DS112j - while its hardware floating-point unit provides a performance boost to multimedia applications.
The real headline, however, is the price: where the DS112j launched at £114, its successor arrives on the market at £78 - an indication that Synology is not blind to the growing popularity of lower-cost alternatives in the market. The DS115j is available to purchase now, with more details available on the Synology website