As I have found with most Synology products, the Disk Station DS-409+ is a subtle professional looking product that anyone would be proud to have on display. It was also great to find that this product comes exclusively in a black casing rather than the white of the CS407e, which made it look like a giant iPod.
The DS-409+ leaves the same size footprint as the CS407e, measuring 230mm long, 168mm wide, and 184mm tall. When empty the DS-409+ weighs just 2.23kg, though it will of course become considerably heavier once four hard drives are installed.
Although the DS-409+ shares the same dimensions as past Synology 4-bay NAS devices, its physical appearance is noticeably different.
The front of the case features a large gold power button centrally located, which incorporates a blue activity LED. To the left there are two more activity lights, these ones are green, and indicate LAN and status. If there was to be a problem with your NAS setup, such as a drive failure, the 'status' light will turn orange and the system will beep to help attract the user's attention.
To the right of the power button there are four more green activity lights used to indicate hard drive activity. If a drive is missing the light will not turn on and if a drive is being accessed the light will flash just as it would on your computer case.
Spinning around to the back of the DS-409+ reveals a pair of 80mm fans, a Gigabit LAN port, dual USB 2.0 ports, and a single eSATA port. There is also a 4-pin power plug which connects to the Li Shin 12v AC Power Adapter.
If there was one thing we would consider changing about the Synology DS-409+ it would be the I/O ports, which as we just stated are located at the rear. Those wanting to quickly plug in an external hard drive will have to gain access to the rear of the DS-409+, which could be a hassle. Perhaps a traditional front-mounted I/O panel would have been a more practical choice.
The internal design of the DS-409+ is virtually identical to past 4-bay Synology storage devices we've tested. Although the drives do not slot into hot-swappable bays, they are quite easy to install or remove, and connecting the power/data cables is also made very easy. The motherboard, if you will, sits at the bottom of the case, while the drives are installed into a 3.5 cage on top of each other.