Synology DS419slim review: A portable media server that delivers the goods

Synology's sleek and very slim DS419slim is a super-compact, 4-bay NAS designed for home and small office use. (Synology will release a 6-bay version later this year.) Unlike most NAS devices, which use full-sized HDDs, the DS419slim is designed with smaller 2.5" drives in mind, making it perfect for anyone who needs a full-featured file and media server packed into a tiny space.

When I first received this NAS I thought it was a joke. The box weighed almost nothing and as I opened it I felt like I was pulling out the pieces of a Russian nesting doll, each container smaller than the last until... out popped this new little NAS: which stands roughly 4 ¾" tall, 4 ¼" wide, and 5 ½ deep. In short, it's easily small enough to fit into your backpack.

The DS419slim weighed so little because Synology packed mine with two 500GB NAS-quality Seagate SSDs. Fully loaded with SSDs this NAS will weigh in at about 2 lbs. That's 1.5 lbs less than the 2-bay Synology DS214+ I have sitting in my office with no drives in it.

Inside this tiny package, you'll find a dual-core 1.33 GHz Marvell Armada processor and 512MB of DDR3 RAM, which there's no way for you to increase. All the drives are hot-swappable, so while this NAS may not be a super-powered file server, it has plenty of power and features you don't usually find in any other small NAS.

Synology DS419slim

When it comes to connectivity there isn't a lot to this tiny package. It has fewer connectivity options than you'd expect to find in a full-sized server, but there's plenty enough to get the job done. The DS419slim has two 1GB ethernet ports that you can configure to work together for load balancing and redundancy. There are also two USB 3 ports, one on the front and back, that you can connect an external drive to for backups or use to copy files to your NAS.

This drive's setup is simple and straightforward. The back of the NAS has four trays for the drives. These slide out with ease. (So easy in fact, you'll want to keep the drive out of reach of curious hands.) Just pop a drive or two in, connect to your network, power it on, and run the DS Finder app on your phone or tablet or use to finish the setup process.

(NOTE: Synology DiskStations all use the same software, so have a look at our article on how to set up a DS1019+ to see just how easy it is.)

Once your setup is complete you have access to the same amazing software, DiskStation Manager or DSM, that's available for every Synology Diskstation. And I will reiterate here what I said in my DS1019+ review a couple of months back: DiskStation Manager is your Synology DiskStation's greatest asset. A powerful collection of server software tools you can use to create anything from video and music servers to surveillance camera systems to a full-on office server hosting everything from DNS to a file server. DSM is rock solid and so easy to set up you'll be using it within minutes of turning your NAS on.

The Good

  • Low-profile, lightweight, Synology server
  • All the features of Synology DiskStation Manager
  • Potentially portable server

The Bad

  • Limited ports
  • No upgradeable RAM

Small but Solid

Synology DS419slim

Synology's new DS419slim packs a ton into a tiny package. It's so compact and lightweight you won't have any problem popping this server in your bag to take it anywhere you go. This server is small and lacks some of the connectivity you'd expect of a larger NAS, but it definitely isn't slight. This server is hot, whether you're at home or abroad.

Server on the go

Taking a server with you isn't for everyone. What would you do with a NAS you can take on the road?

Jeffery Battersby

Jeff is a writer, actor, Apple Certified Trainer, and IT consultant, born and raised in A-town and now living in NY. You can often catch him behind the scenes and on stage at County Players, Falls Theatre. Up next? He's stage managing *Cat on a Hot Tin Roof* at the aforementioned County Players.