New Synology DS120j 1-Bay Server Revealed for 2019/2020

The DS120J Super-Budget NAS from Synology is Revealed

Good news for those looking to make their first steps into the world of NAS storage with Synology having revealed the new DS120j NAS Drive, a 1-Bay server that supports the very latest and largest Hard Drives (such as the Seagate Ironwolf 14/16TB Ironwolf NAS drives) and at a price point that promises to be not just affordable, but that enables even the most wallet-shy of people to enter the world of network-attached storage. Featuring a streamlined version of DSM (but only in a business application sense), the DS120j NAS from Synology is the follow up to the Q3 2018 DS119j and though remarkably similar, it does have one of two extra little treats under the hood. Of all the NAS drives being revealed in their launch events across the world this month, this is the one I had the very least information about, so I am making efforts to highlight this (TBC – to be confirmed, obviously). So, let’s see what this new budget NAS has in store for home users looking for their first, entry-level Synology NAS.

Synology DS120J NAS Hardware Specifications

Although we always make efforts to highlight that Synology is a brand that you invest in for ‘DSM – Diskstation Manager’, there is no denying that the specifications featured inside the DS120j are quick modest compared with the majority of Synology NAS server devices. This is made in efforts to make this device as affordable as possible (likely arriving at under £100, not including tax of a hard drive), but this does not mean it is going to run DSM poorly. We have seen numerous NAS devices in the last 2 years from Synology in their J and older SLIM series that seemed to throw out the rulebook, giving us a NAS solution that featured 32-bit ARM specifications, yet after initial setup, seemingly ran DSM remarkably well! Below is the hardware specifications that we can confirm (or at the very least surmise) about this new NAS drive:
CPU: Marvell Armada A3720
FREQUENCY: 1.0Ghz (though there are whispers of 1.3/1.4Ghz – TBC)
MEMORY: 512MB, twice as much as the 256MB featured in the DS119J
BAYS: Single Bay
HDD Support: SATA 6Gbps, Upto 14/16TB at time of writing
SSD Support: SATA, 6GBps, 2.5/3.5″ Adapter will be needed
Hot Swapping: No, Drive is installed in closed chassis
Synology DS119J NAS
NUMBER OF FANS: 1 – Controllable
LEDs: Indicating Drive, Network and System Health/Activity, can be dimmed
RJ45 LAN PORTS: 1x 1Gbe RJ45 LAN
SSD CACHE BAYS: No, SSD Cache not supported/Possible
CHASSIS MATERIAL: Plastic, No trays (1-Bay!)

Synology DS120J NAS Software Specifications

Which leads us to the performance of DSM on the DS120J NAS. As mentioned, this device with its modest hardware specifications will not give you the premium and business class user experience that the likes of the DS918+ and DS718+ (DS920+ and DS720+ eventually, with a rumour of Intel CPU shortage, afford regarding the J4005, J4105 and J4115 – TBC) can offer. The DS120j is targetted at around 1-5 NAS users (so perhaps a family dynamic) that want to stream files, access media remotely, backup all their devices and run lower scale surveillance set up in a home or small shop environment. We will have to wait until full confirmation of the CPU of this NAS and have a chance to play with the hardware ourselves, but below are what we can estimate based on that hardware. Also, take a moment to view the videos below too, as they show the performance of the DS119J predecessor which has lesser hardware/software potential and serves as a good benchmark/lower case scenario.
BTRFS Support: No
Synology Hybrid RAID: No
Snapshot Support: No
4K Support: No
Transcoding Support: No
Synology Multimedia Suite*: Some
Synology Moments: Yes (limited)
Synology Drive: Yes, 5 Clients
Synology Chat: No
Synology Active Backup: No
Synology Surveillance Station: Yes, 5 Cameras and 2 Licenses Included
Synology Virtual Machine Manager: No
Synology High Availability: No
Synology Mail: Yes
Synology Office: Yes, via online connect
Docker: No
Synology CMS:
Synology Download Station: Yes
Hyper Backup: Yes
Web Station: Yes
Plex Media Server: No
iTunes Server: Yes
WordPress: Yes, but not advised

Synology DS120J NAS Price and Release Date

As you might expect, as Synology has only JUST announced this device, details are exceptionally thin on the ground. Despite the fact that we first heard about the DS120J NAS almost 2 months ago here on NASCompares when it was leaked, details surrounding it’s release date and price (unpopulated of course) are still yet to come through. However Synology is very much a brand that sits on their release information till the last minute and if they have brought the device to the public’s attention to this degree, then I think we will be looking at an October/November release at the very earliest
Synology DS119J NAS
However, in terms of the price of the Synology DS120J NAS drive, I think we can be alot closer to the mark. As it is still so similar to DS120J in external design and ports, it will certainly land close to the predecessor’s price point (the DS119j retails at around £80-90 ex.VAT. However, factors such as the improved CPU and Memory capability cannot be made without sacrifice and therefore, even despite general hardware moving forward in terms of efficiency and ability over the last two years, I do think the DS120J NAS will be somewhere around 10% more expensive than the DS119J.

Alternative to the Synology DS120J NAS

It may come as no surprise that if you have urgent data requirements and if the ambiguity o the release data/CPU surrounding the DS120J is not good enough for you, then I am going to recommend the DS119J NAS as the closest alternative for you and your NAS needs. As mentioned, it performs quite well, even with this CPU/Memory combo in DSM and although it will not blow your socks off, it still is a good first-time NAS


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      One thought on “New Synology DS120j 1-Bay Server Revealed for 2019/2020

      1. I appreciate there is a budget for everything and everyone has a budget but considering the modest extra investment to get to the likes of a DS118 I wonder if there are not a lot of people being lured into purchasing these devices only to be turned off when they realise how limited they are. Cost vs value?