The Antec Sonata Proto computer case runs very quiet when the fan is set to low and relatively quiet when on high. In a quiet room, neither setting is loud enough to be annoying which makes it a decent candidate for an HTPC case should the size not be an issue.
The locks are a nice feature for those that share living or work spaces with others although the keys are rather generic and it probably wouldn’t be too difficult to find another set that worked. The blue HDD activity and power LED’s are bright enough to be seen in a well lit room and when the lights are low or off they don’t give off an overabundance of light.
I have few complaints about the overall design with the biggest being the inability to remove the right panel to route wires or access the CPU cooler from the back. If you don’t upgrade frequently, this is less of an issue. The power and reset buttons being behind the door can be a bit annoying as well. I get that they can’t be accessed behind the locked door for security but someone could pull the power cord and ruin your day just the same.
The Antec Sonata Proto build quality is very good – as we would expect to see from Antec – although there were a few minor items we saw. We found the front bay covers to be a little loosely seated and then there was the matter of the paint over-spray which is just an aesthetics thing. That said, the overall construction is solid with no sharp edges and a few nice features sprinkled in such as the SSD mount (we’d like to see this more often) and the silicone grommets for the HDD mounts. All which far outweigh the minor flaws we observed. For $69.99 shipped, there’s little to complain about.
Legit Bottom Line: Antec has again made an affordable, yet well constructed case in the mid tower class with the Sonata Proto, a case that will appeal to a large number of consumers. However, those looking for something flashy or a little more feature rich may look towards some of the other cases in the Sonata lineup.