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Antec Sonata LifeStyle Series Tower: Spend a few grand on your PC, and nowhere to put it? Today we see if the Antec Sonata is up to the task of being a good component to house all of the hardware you have worked so hard to afford.
Date: July 14, 2003
Catagory: Cases & Cooling
Written By:


Finally the Antec Sonata revealed! The first picture shows the front ports opened and the door closed and the second one shows the front door opened the ports closed. The third is the profile shot with the door.

A few things of note that I noticed so far was the very glossy sheen on the entire case, it's very beautiful but unfortunately very annoying to clean. Simply touching it leaves tons of fingerprints. It makes me wonder if this was a harder case to keep nice looking then acrylic.

Inside the box

By removing the two thumbscrews in the back of the case and lifting the latching door handle, I opened up the case. I found that the handle even though it ruins a part of the lines of the case (it's not flat and it stands out), it was very convenient for opening the case. In fact, I never bothered to put the thumbscrews back on! After removing the side panel the insides look a little something like this:

And then my first problem with the case arose. After I looked at the one side of the case and it's innards, I wanted to see what was laid out on the other side of the case. To my unfortunate surprise I found this:

In case you didn't bother to look at the picture, the top and right hand side of the case is riveted on, and is designed not to be removed. It was also at this time that I noticed that the case had no motherboard tray, something that is featured on all good cases for ease of use and installation of the most crucial motherboard. I knew from that alone that installation was going to be very annoying.

As I tried to start taking the case apart (because that is something I enjoy doing) I wanted to see what was underneath all the panels. I soon realized that the design also did not allow for the front panel to be removed either (at least not easily). In order to take off the front panel one would have to move 6 tabs on the inside of the case which I tried for about 5 minutes and then realized it wouldn't be worth it until/unless I wanted to modify the case so I didn't bother. Removing the front would be easier if the other side panel was not riveted on, this makes those three tabs on that side of the case extremely difficult to remove. This was disappointing because I had hoped that this case would be easily modified, but it's really only something someone who really wants to do a lot of work on the case should do (like removing all the rivets, painting all the interior parts piece by piece, doing blow holes or windows on the non removable side panel etc).

Finally looking at the bottom of the case I stumbled on the removable filter. I wondered where it was because the front could not be taken off, and I found it there. Also in the pictures one can see the rubber feet that absorb vibration, and are very soft. The filter is removed easily by squeezing the tabs on either side of it, and simply pulling it out. I didn't bother to take a picture of it fully removed however.

Something to note is that even though the filter is removable without taking any parts of the case off, it's still on the bottom of the case, so that if one wanted to get to it, they would have to at least put the case on it's side, if not flip it over. I know that it is still more convenient then to remove most filters, but still it is something to think about.

Trapped behind the hard drive trays (seen in earlier pictures) is a brown box containing all of the screws, and specialized pieces for the case. It took me a little bit of time figuring out how to get to them with the other side of the case riveted on and all, and then I realized I could simply remove the trays *smacks forehead*. While the trays are out, I decided to take a picture of those too.

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