Thermaltake Soprano VO900M1N2N Review

Thermaltake introduced the Soprano VX back in 2006 with a $60 price tag and it was a pretty good little mid-tower case. It had simple styling and was feature-packed, for 2006. It also had a sleek piano black coating on the front panel that set it apart from the rest. The Soprano RS 101 came shortly thereafter in 2008, also with a $60 introductory price tag, and was available with or without a side panel window and had a sleek front door with the same piano black coating. It’s now been about 5 years since the folks at Thermaltake have redesigned the Soprano but it’s finally here. It’s simply called “New Soprano” and is a completely redesigned ATX mid-tower that is packed full of features – all for $117.72 shipped. The Thermaltake New Soprano is available in two forms, a stark contrast of white exterior against black interior (VO900M6N2N) or a full black exterior and interior (VO900M1N2N).  minimal furnishings, lightings and brushed metal accents enhance the visual amenity for a sleek and professional office or home environment.

Thermaltake Soprano

The Thermaltake New Soprano has some awesome features that should be noted. On the earlier versions of the TT Soprano the front door was plastic, this time around Thermaltake used aluminum front door. Not only does this step away from the Piano-black coating, it adds a much more durable feel to the New Soprano. Recently we have seen acoustic foam insulation popping its head out in several cases over the past year or so. The New Soprano also keeps the system noise down by utilizing the sound deadening properties of acoustic foam insulation. The top-mounted hot-swap dock for 2.5” and 3.5” drives is quite similar to the Thermaltake BlackX dock in the way that it works. All you have to do is pop in a 3.5" hard drive or 2.5" SSD or hard drive and you're good to go. Unlike previous versions of the TT Soprano, the New Soprano features internal SuperSpeed USB 3.0. Strictly looking at the specifications the New Soprano looks like it has a lot of promise! Let’s take a quick look at the specifications of New Soprano below and then we can get on to the good stuff!

Thermaltake New Soprano Features:

Specifications of the Thermaltake New Soprano:

 Now that we have a good understanding of the core features we can move on and take a look at the retail sample Thermaltake provided us to review.

Unboxing the Thermaltake New Soprano

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake packaged the New Soprano in a full-color display box. The front of the box has a nice picture of the case with some accenting stripes and an internal USB 3.0 badge.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The back of the box shows some small detail shots and touches on the features and specifications that we just looked over.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

One end of the box lists basic info in 11 different languages while the other has the Soprano logo and basic shipping detail in the lower left corner.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The case itself is wrapped in a clear plastic bag enclosed in a pair of Styrofoam end caps to prevent damage during transit. This is pretty much the norm for cases these days.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Once the case is shed of its packing we finally get to take a look at it. The first thing you’ll notice is the case is very simple yet sleek in design. The stylish front panel from the RS 101 is retained but now in aluminum and without the piano black coating.

Let’s take a  closer look at the New Soprano now.

Externals Features: Thermaltake New Soprano

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The front of the New Soprano is simple. A stylish wavy front door made from aluminum and anodized black. This gives the case an overall clean appearance.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

With the front door opened you get access to 4 external 5.25” bays and a single external 3.25” bay. There’s also a removable intake fan filter that’s easily accessible as well that hides the 200mm blue LED intake fan. The only problem I noticed here is that the door blocks access to the right side tab for the bay covers. You can still just use the left tab to pop the covers out but it’s a little more difficult this way.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The left and right sides of the case feature straight, plain black side panels that are attached with a pair of black thumbscrews.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The left side panel has a piece of thick dense foam to help reduce noise as much as possible. The left side panel also has a piece of dense foam but it’s not as thick as the left side, presumably as it sits behind the motherboard tray.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The top of the case features reset and power buttons and a red HDD indicator LED on the left side as well as a pair of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports and headphone and mic jack, on the front. In the center is a SATA docking station that will accept either 3.5” or 2.5” drives.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The bottom of the case features a removable filter that not only filters the PSU intake but also the intake spot in front of the PSU should you decide to install a fan there. The case feet are round and stylish with a silver trim ring.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The rear of the case includes a 120mm rubber-mounted exhaust fan rated for 1000RPM and 16dBA, 3 water cooling grommets, 7 expansion slots with a retainer plate and a small clip for routing your USB cables through to secure your devices at LAN parties.

Internal Features: Thermaltake New Soprano

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The inside of the case features an awesome tool-free design for the 5.25” bays as well as a LARGE motherboard backplate cutout and 5 tool-free 3.2” and 2.5” drive cages. The internals of the New Soprano are identical to that of the Armor Revo Gene we looked at not too long ago.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The tool-free devices that Thermaltake came up with are so simple it’s a wonder that something this simple hasn’t been seen before.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The tool-free devices Thermaltake has developed for the New Soprano are simply the best I’ve ever used. To Install a 5.25” bay device simply slide it in from the front. The tool-free device will automatically open then snap shut then the device is fully inserted. To remove the device simply push the unlock tab and pull the device out. When the device is removed it trips the tab back to the normal position. It’s super simple and very easy to use. Thermaltake also included access holes for those who like to screw-mount their devices as well.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The trays for your 3.5” and 2.5” drives are tool-free and easy to use as well. To remove the tray just pinch the tabs and pull.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The drive trays will accept and 2.5” or 3.5” drive. The 3.5” drives mount via steel push-pins that go through rubber grommets to help dampen vibrations while the 2.5” drives mount from below with 4 of the included screws.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The expansion slot setup is the same as that we first saw on the Level 10 GT. You first remove the single thumbscrew and plate, then remove the thumbscrews for the covers you want to remove. There’s also a hole to the right for the Kensington lock if you so choose/need.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The included 120mm exhaust fan in Thermaltake’s own Turbo Fan that’s rates for 16dBA and 1000RPM. You can also remove this fan and install a 120mm radiator as well.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The 3.5” internal bay has a semi-tool-free tray. The tray itself is tool-free to slide in and out of the chassis however screws are required to secure the device to the tray. There’s also the slight problem of needing to unscrew and remove the front intake fan to remove the tray.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The motherboard header connectors included with the New Soprano are of the standard variety with the now-standard black connectors and wires. Thermaltake also made the power LED connector 2 separate pins. This is nice because some motherboard manufacturers use a 2-pin LED header while others use a 3-pin. The fact that Thermaltake made it 2 single pins on the New Soprano means you’re covered for whatever motherboard you wish to use.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The included accessories with the New Soprano include reusable cable ties, a chassis speaker, fan screws, HDD screws (to replace the push-in style HDD pins if you wish) as well as black standoffs and screws for securing the motherboard and other various items into the chassis.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Also included is a user’s manual and the warranty booklet that outlines the details and conditions of the 3-year warranty.

Installing a system into the Thermaltake New Soprano

Here are the parts that make up our Intel Core i5-3570 based test system:

Intel Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i5-3570 (1155)

 

Motherboard

Biostar TZ77XE4

 

Memory

Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600 8GB

 

Video Card

XFX Radeon HD 6870

 

Hard Drive

Kingston 90GB SSD/WD 160GB

 

Power Supply

Ultra X3 800W

 

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Installing a system into the Thermaltake New Soprano was quick and painless. Cable management was easy thanks to the large solid grommets that provide a plethora of cable routing options. Another nice thing is the grommets fit snugly into the chassis and don’t pull out when you start pulling cables through.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The tool-free mechanisms in the 5.25” bays worked flawlessly every time. This system BY FAR is THE BEST tool-free system I’ve used in any chassis to date. It’s not over-complicated and it just works, period.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The e-SATA hot swap dock on the top of the case works very well. The drives - both 2.5” and 3.5” - sit snugly into the holder and don’t feel flimsy at all.

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

Thermaltake New Soprano PC Case

The New Soprano’s power button is surrounded by a ring that lights up blue for the power status. The blue is bright enough to see but not so bright that it’s overwhelming at night. The downside is that it’s on the top of the case so if you intend on having it on your desk chances are you won’t see it anyways. The intake fan also emits a soft blue glow that’s only visible from under the chassis with the door closed.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Thermaltake Soprano

Thermaltake has brought the Soprano series to a new level with the New Soprano. Sure they ditched the side panel window and the piano black coating but what they’ve added in their places such as the aluminum front door and sound-damping foam are well worth the changes. Thermaltake has definitely hit their target of creating a stylish and quiet case while managing to cram in tons of awesome features at the same time.

Thermaltake Soprano

Thermaltake Soprano

Thermaltake Soprano

The sound dampening foam works absolutely wonderfully. With the system installed and running I could hardly notice a sound from a few feet away. The fact that Thermaltake included 2 separate pins for the power LED shows that they were thinking about many possible setups as some motherboard manufacturers use a 2-pin power LED header while others use a 3-pin. Thermaltake also hit a home run with their 5.25” drive bay’s tool-free system. It’s by far the easiest to use out of anything I’ve gotten my hands on so far.

Thermaltake Soprano

Thermaltake Soprano

The New Soprano only has two shortcomings that I can find, the first being the 2.5” drive tray. Why make a drive tray tool-free when you need to remove 4 screws and an intake fan so you can get it out? It seems to me it would have been better off sliding in from the inside rather than the outside. The second con is with the proximity of the front door to the 5.25” bay covers. It’s just about impossible to get a finger between the door and right-side bay cover latch to remove the cover. You can pop just the left side latch and get it out that way but it’s a tad more difficult than popping both latches.

The Thermaltake New Soprano is selling for $117.72 shipped, which is a great price for this clean stylish mid-tower that’s packed with features. Thermaltake has also given the New Soprano a 3-year warranty, so you can be sure they stand behind their product. Compared to other cases in its price range, the New Soprano is much more refined in terms of styling than most others. No window, no large mesh vents, just simple clean styling that’s a welcome change to the stockpile of flashy cases that are available these days. The New Soprano is available in black and white, though at the time of this writing I could only find the black version for sale. No word yet on when the white version will be available for purchase.

Legit Bottom Line: Thermaltake finally redesigned the venerable Soprano series and did an awesome job of it as well. The New Soprano combines stylish lines and awesome features at an seemingly impossible low price point!