The Lazy Days of Summer Case Review

Antec Sonata

The Sonata from Antec. For a case that is mass produced, the piano-black, shiny finish of this case is a surprisingly close imitation of a true auto paint style.

From Antec, we have the new Sonata mid-tower case. Antec is introducing some very innovative features within this case, the most striking of which is Antec’s use of what they term the "piano black" finish. The high gloss finish gives the case a more noticeable sheen than is found with most typical black computer cases. The innovation goes further ; here is what Antec has changed :

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Number Of Internal 3.5" Bays4
Number Of External 3.5" Bays2
Number Of External 5.25" Bays3
Number Of Case Fans Supported2 - Up to 120 mm
Construction Material0.8 mm Steel
Power Supply IncludedYes - 380-Watt Antec TruePower - Not tested in this review
Special FeaturesFront mounted USB & 1394, washable air filters, front mounted audio ports, trays with rubber grommets to absorb hard drive vibrations
Size (HDW)425 x 464 x 207 mm(16.75" x 18.25" x 8.13")
Sample Case Provided
Estimated Cost$149 US
Cooling Potential Rating8 - With optional front 120 mm fan installed
Construction Quality Rating9
Overall Case Rating8

The Sonata is a radical departure from many of the cases Antec has done in the past. Clearly, the Sonata is a beautiful example of Antec’s "silent PC" concept. In order to achieve their goal to reduce noise within the case, Antec opted to use a large, 120 mm fan in the rear of this case ; this reduces air noise and increases air flow. This strategy serves the Sonata very well, as the included 120 mm fan is able to move a significant amount of heat out of the case. However, this presents another issue : Antec did not include the normally required front case fan. While there is available space to mount such a fan in the front of the case, it is not included in the basic Sonata package. There is a washable air filter that is removable, located behind the front bezel. Using only the single included 120 mm fan in the rear of the case, the air flow during our testing was not at the optimum level we would have liked. Antec should consider making this additional fan standard equipment for this case. We installed a second 120 mm fan during our cooling tests, and the Sonata passed with flying colors.

A look at the inside of the Antec Sonata.