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Review: Synology DiskStation DS218j

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Synology is known for quality NAS products, not just on the hardware side of things, but also the company’s excellent software ecosystem. I got to have a go at the DiskStation DS218j a couple of weeks ago and I am surprised by the overall functionality and utility of the device.

The DS218j is company’s entry-level 2-bay NAS for home and personal cloud storage. This one replaces the DS216j and you will see some familiar design cues if you have been using a DS216j. The DS218j takes in up to two drives with a storage capacity of 8TB each. When it comes to connectivity, you get one gigabit Ethernet port and two standard USB 3.0 ports at the rear of the device. 

Under the hood, the Synology DiskStation DS218j is powered by a dual-core Marvell ARMADA 385 (88F6820) with a clock speed of 1.3GHz. You also get 512MB worth of DDR3 memory. Inside the device, you get enough space to fix up two 3.5-inch hard disks. You can also use 2.5-inch hard disks and SSDs through an adapter. 

For this review, I used two 3.5-inch Seagate HDDs made for NAS drives and configured them to use the default Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR). What SHR does is, it allows the device to tolerate the failure of one hard disk without any data loss, but at the expense of one disk’s capacity.

Setting up the DS218j NAS is a breeze. Connect the NAS to your router and power it up. Then go to find.synology.com, which will locate the NAS on your network. If you’re using brand-new hard disks, you’ll just be able to click the big Download button to install the latest version of Synology’s DSM operating system.

However, if you’ve used your disks before in another NAS, you will need to plug them directly into your PC and use Disk Management to erase any partitions. This needs to be done in order to start using the hard disks with the new NAS drive. You can even connect to your NAS drive from anywhere in the world as long as the NAS is turned on and is connected to an internet connection.

This can be done using the QuickConnect ID, which can be created during setup. Just by typing quickconnect.to/ followed by your own QuickConnect ID into any web browser, you will be able to access your NAS’ interface. It’s as simple as that.

With the Synology software ecosystem, you also get the company’s brilliant Package Center that boasts of hundreds of add-on applications. In the Package Center there are many add-on packages available to expand the value and functionality of your Synology NAS. 

You will be able to download and install the packages designed specifically for your unique needs, whether it’s sharing files on the cloud, sharing photos on an online album, setting up a VPN environment or even an antivirus to protect your system. Everything can be found and done in Package Center, with just a few clicks.

Software packages include Acronis True Image, Active Backup for Business, McAfee Antivirus, Apache HTTP Server, Audio Station, Synology Chat Server, LDAP Server, GitLab, Redmine, Spree, Drupal, File Station, Java8, Joomla, iTunes Server, OpenERP, WordPress, and lots more. 

To check the overall performance of the Synology DiskStation DS218j, we used the CrystalDiskMark benchmark. In terms of reads, we achieved 123MB/s, while we clocked 127MB/s for writes. The Synology DiskStation DS218j is a very capable and affordable NAS drive intended for people who are just starting with setting up their own personal cloud.  

Price: AED 857

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HONOR Intros HONOR X6

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HONOR has announced the official launch of the HONOR X6, the latest addition to HONOR’s reliable X Series line up, bringing HONOR’s latest cutting-edge technology to more users in the Middle East. Boasting a myriad of compelling features, the HONOR X6 is equipped with an ultra-large 5000mAh battery, a triple camera system consisting of a 50MP Main Camera, and large expandable storage to go with its 4GB+64GB memory, making smartphone innovations more accessible.

Equipped with a 5000mAh battery, the HONOR X6 delivers up to 17 hours of online video streaming, 18 hours of social media browsing, or 31 hours of music playback, all enabled by a single charge to power users throughout the day. The HONOR X6 features a rear triple camera system comprising a 50MP Main Camera, a 2MP Macro Camera, and a 2MP Depth Camera. The impressive combination of cameras allows users to easily capture and record all their favorite memories, fulfilling their appetite for creative expression anytime, anywhere.

Alongside the 64GB ROM, the HONOR X6 also supports large expandable storage of up to 1TB MicroSD, meeting the different storage requirements of users. Delivering a smart and seamless user experience, the HONOR X6 runs on HONOR Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12. Featuring HONOR Share, the HONOR X6 enables speedy wireless file transfers across HONOR devices including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. With the Efficient Smart Desktop feature, users can customize widgets on the home screen and access information without opening the apps, further boosting efficiency and productivity.

Boasting a 6.5-inch HONOR FullView Display, the HONOR X6 delivers an immersive viewing experience. Coupled with a host of eye care features including Eye Comfort Mode, and Dark Mode, the HONOR X6 offers an extremely pleasant viewing experience in different types of user scenarios, perfect for reading articles, streaming videos, or browsing photos, even in direct sunlight or in dimly lit environments.

Packed with the unique eBook Mode, HONOR X6 can convert the screen to black and white, improving the reading experience for smartphone users.

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Gadgets

HONOR Pad 8 is Now Available in the UAE

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HONOR has announced the official availability of the all-new HONOR Pad 8 in the UAE market following record-breaking preorders. The all-new HONOR Pad 8 delivers unrivalled entertainment experience in a sleek and compact design. Boasting an impressive 12-inch 2K HONOR FullView display, 8 Speakers with DTS: X ULTRA, and Multi-Screen Collaboration, the HONOR Pad 8 pushes industry benchmarks to help users stay entertained to the maximum.

“HONOR innovates and provides state-of-the-art products based on an in-depth understanding of local customer needs and consumer behavior, ensuring that each market receives the best-fit model,” said Zac Li, GCC Country Manager of HONOR Device Co, Ltd “We’re thrilled that HONOR Pad 8 has been getting lots of attention in the last few days and the preorder sales hit a new record in the UAE market. We will continue to bring more exciting products to the UAE market to ensure users benefit from industry-leading devices that deliver a premium experience.”

HONOR products are positioned differently to suit different customers. HONOR Pad 8 is designed to deliver a truly immersive entertainment experience with a big display, alongside powerful speakers, perfect for those who need to fulfill their entertainment needs. Additionally, the HONOR Pad 8 comes with the latest HONOR Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12, offering a range of enhanced, customized features to provide a smart experience to users like Multi-Screen Collaboration, HONOR Share, APP Extender and Multi-Window Viewing.

Inspired by the sky at dawn, the HONOR Pad 8 is available now in classic Blue Hour in UAE markets via HONOR Online Store and Sharaf DG at an affordable price of AED 1199 with free gifts worth AED 248 including HONOR Flip Cover and HONOR CHOICE X2.

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Accessories

Logitech Launches its Aurora Collection in the Gulf Region

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Logitech G introduced the Aurora Collection in the Gulf region, a new collection featuring the G735 Wireless Gaming HeadsetG715 Wireless Gaming KeyboardG713 Gaming KeyboardG705 Wireless Gaming Mouse. The new collection was designed while addressing the needs and wants of women gamers and appealing to all gamers who are looking for a  playful design and curated experience.

The Aurora Collection has a distinctive aesthetic and design language. It also includes Logitech G’s advanced gaming-grade technologies like LIGHTSPEED high-performance wireless technology and Blue VO!CE microphone technology. The result is a collection of gear that invites all gamers to come as they are while delivering the advanced feature set all gamers expect.

The Aurora Collection was conceptualized based on the feedback from women gamers across the community and brought to life by a team of predominantly women innovation, design, engineering, and marketing leaders at Logitech. The collection was created to meet the gaming desires and needs of an underrepresented segment of gamers and reimagine the future of gaming where representation is firmly present.

The Aurora Collection consists of:

  • G735 Wireless Gaming Headset – Featuring a White Mist finish, ethereal RGB lighting, and on-ear dual-audio mixing, the G735 is a versatile option for any player. G735 is the first Logitech G headset with the feature to modulate a player’s voice.  Players can enjoy long gaming sessions with 56+ hr battery life (without lighting), and experience wireless freedom through Logitech G’s award-winning LIGHTSPEED wireless technology, and Bluetooth.
  • G715 and G713 Mechanical Gaming Keyboards – The G715 Wireless Gaming Keyboard and G713 Gaming Keyboard deliver low-key vibes with high-key performance so players can express themselves and play their way. A compact, tenkeyless layout, and adjustable height ensure comfort all day long. Pack it up and place it anywhere with a rechargeable battery that delivers 25 hours of non-stop gaming, and LIGHTSPEED wireless or Bluetooth connectivity. Both keyboards come with an included Cloud-Soft palm rest for all-day comfort.
  • G705 Wireless Gaming Mouse –G705 Wireless Gaming Mouse is purpose-built for smaller hands with compact contoured fit, and advanced gaming technology. At just 85 grams, G705 is designed for long-lasting, lightweight comfort and performance. With a gaming-grade sensor, ultra-responsive LIGHTSPEED wireless, Bluetooth connectivity, and an easy-reach DPI-cycling button, gamers can play their best.
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