The DS216play is one of the most unique NAS solutions I have seen personally from Synology. It is the first I have seen that requires you to open the unit to replace or upgrade the drives but with that it does offer a clean look. Build quality seems to be on par with higher priced units, and being powered by DSM, you get the same overall experience.
The performance of the DS216play was good for a consumer NAS system. We were able to reach 90 MB/s read and 60 MB/s write in RAID 0 sequential while RAID 1 reached 90 MB/s read and 52 MB/s write; this was a bit under marketing performance of 107 MB/s read and 91 MB/s write. In single client testing, this NAS excelled in video playback testing peaking at 108 MB/s in RAID 0 and 96 MB/s in RAID 1. Workload performance was rather good as well with RAID 1 proving to be a strong point with this appliance.
DSM on this unit with the STiH412 SoC enables this unit to provide hardware accelerated transcoding with support up to 4K at 30fps with both H.264/H.265 codecs. Adding to this is the ability to stream your media via its DLNA media server via Video Station, the one downfall of which is the lack of Plex support.
Overall, the Synology DS216play is a good entry-level solution for users that just want to manage their data with the occasional use of apps such as transcoding and DLNA streaming. For users that want to stream to multiple devices or run heavier workloads, it would be worthwhile to pick up an x86 powered unit like a DS215+ or the four bay 415+.
With that said, the level of features you get with this appliance are top notch and with this unit carrying an MSRP of $249.99 with a two-year warranty, it's quite competitive in the market as well.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||85%|
|Value for Money||90%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||85%|
The Bottom Line: While this NAS won't impress enthusiasts, it's a worthy entry-level solution for those just wanting to get their feet wet in the NAS world.
PRICING: You can find the Synology DS216play Two-Bay Consumer NAS for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The Synology DS216play Two-Bay Consumer NAS retails for $269 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The Synology DS216play Two-Bay Consumer NAS retails for £193 at Amazon UK.
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