Taking a look at the front of the Antec Sonata Proto shows a door covering the optical bays as well as offering a lock for keeping things secure. There’s an empty square towards the top where the Antec brand sticker, mentioned on the first page, is placed.
Directly in the center of the front lies two USB 2.0 ports, HDD activity and power LED’s as well as the headphone and audio jacks. The power and reset buttons rest behind the door which can eventually be somewhat of a pain if you are a user who powers your machine off and on daily. No Firewire or eSATA ports are present which is not unexpected on a value priced chassis.
Three optical bays reside behind the door along with two external 3.5″ bays. Visible also are the power and reset buttons that are stacked vertically but offset a bit horizontally.
Below the bezel on the edges of the case are air vents that allow cool air to flow into the front of the case. We’ll have a closer look at the front airflow when we move inside the case.
The top of the case is virtually featureless with no fans, vents, controls or ports in sight.
The same can be said about the right side panel although that is typical of most cases.
The one noteworthy aspect of the right panel is that it is not removable but rather is a continuation of the top and bottom panels. This makes the case a little stronger but can hamper building it out as we’ll see.
The left panel features a sliding-latch handle complete with a lock, similar to the one on the front bezel. I found the latch to be a little stiff and I had to force it a little at first before it acquiesced and opened. After a few iterations of removing the panel, it seemed to loosen up a bit and became easier to open.
The bottom sports four rubber, non-adjustable feet to prevent slippage or damaging furniture. Stamped is the Antec brand and towards the front are four screw holes for mounting a 2.5″ SSD drive inside the case. We’ll have a look at this when we take a peek inside.
Around the back side you’ll find two thumbscrews which hold the left panel on securely. Also note the cutout for the PSU which is top mounted. Seven slots are present for expansion cards and right next door are holes for additional ventilation.
The one and only fan found in the case is mounted on the rear panel for exhaust and is of the Antec 120mm TwoCool two-speed variety.
That about covers the exterior. Next we move inside to see what we have to work with for the build.