Antec Sonata II

The first of two cases that we'll look at from Antec, a very popular case builder, is the successor to the popular Sonata 1. The Sonata II has changed only slightly on the original in several minor ways, but for the sake of people who are not already familiar with the Sonata, we'll examine the new case in detail.


Click to enlarge.

Quite possibly the best looking case that we've looked at here yet, the Sonata II is definitely deserving of a close look for the user who wants a classy machine and not just another box. The high gloss, piano black finish covers the sides and top, while matte black plastic plates make up the front of the chassis.

Only the easy-to-use, lockable latch breaks the otherwise immaculate look of the sides. One problem with any finish this glossy is the ease with which it gets dirty by simple handling. Towards the top of the case in the above photograph is a perfect example of this.

The front has been designed to keep functionality to a maximum while keeping as sleek a look as possible.


Click to enlarge.

The drives are hidden behind a double-hinged lockable door, and the bottom half is cut in such a way that there are two large vents for air intake without them being very visible from the front. Towards the top of this half is the covered port cluster, which is flanked by two blue prismatic LEDs.

The chrome cover simply rotates up out of the way to reveal the usual dual USB, single Firewire, microphone, and headphone jacks. Note also in the detail of this picture the texture of the black plastic - thankfully, this surface doesn't share the same problem of getting smudged so easily.

The door opens up to just three 5¼”, but two external 3½” drives. To prevent accidental presses and also to continue the sleek look, the power and reset buttons are also located here.

Looking at the rear of the Sonata II, we find the same honeycomb pattern that we just saw on the Centurion, but not just on the rear-mounted 120mm fan - it is also along the right side for the intake duct that we'll notice later, which helps the hottest components to continue to get the cool air that they need.


CoolerMaster Centurion 530 (cont’d) Antec Sonata II (cont’d)
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  • Phantronius - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    My P180 is the last case I'll ever buy. I love you Antec!!! Reply
  • leviathan19 - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    the 1200 is deeper yes but is still mid tower class it fixes the psu problems and more space is always better for work with it Reply
  • Zepper - Friday, September 9, 2005 - link

    Re. cases that come with PSUs. Either rate the PSU too or deduct the portion of the price that the PSU represents from the case price so you are comparing apples to apples price wise.
    . And I don't care for the looks of a lot of the cases on the market either. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My case is a Silverstone Berserker which many think is fugly...

    .bh.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    I don't see why people make such a big deal out of aluminum cases. In my experience, they are flimsier and louder than steal cases, and more prone to rattle. I don't see why anyone would pay so much money for one... Reply
  • at80eighty - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    DRTFA yet, so forgive me if its been covered

    You guys have any leads on cases with more fans?

    with the new VGA's and CPU's i think a cooler case than a cooler-looking case is a better investment..

    any pointers people?
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    RTFA, and no forgiveness for you!

    The Antec P180 is a quiet cooling dream I think. I looked at one on display over at Fry's and just about wet myself. Then I looked at the price tag and decided to stick with my old, free, boring, beige case. But if the price is no objection, I can't imagine purchasing anything else.
    Reply
  • at80eighty - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    thanx mate! the p180 looks pretty sweet! the price is OK (just about) for me :)

    plus it doesnt have that HEY LOOK AT ME IM AN ATTENTION WHORE!!! look.

    /hope this case shows up in my part of the world :-(
    Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    I saw one case that i would even consider putting next to my desk.

    If you are supporting the case mfts making these hideous beasts by buying them, i personally hate you.
    Reply
  • leviathan19 - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    why they used this one the 1200 is a better version and fix the psu problem...

    there is missing the pc75b and the TT shark those are nice cases too
    Reply
  • OvErHeAtInG - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - link

    The 1200 is much deeper, for extended-atx boards I think. Definitely not something I would get except for a big duallie rig. Reply

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