gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Antec Sonata Elite PC Case

Antec make shiny computer cases, there’s no denying that. I’m a particular fan of the P180 series, in their gunmetal-clad, fridge-freezer-like glory.

The Antec Sonata Elite stays the course of Antec products, with a strong emphasis on being quiet whilst still having a high level of airflow for best cooling performance. It doesn’t do this through ingenious design or ducted cooling, however, instead opting to include a single 120mm rear fan to draw airflow through the case and a beast of an 120mm exhaust blower to deal with your graphics card.

Air enters through the front left and right vents, which boast washable air filters to try and keep your components free of dust.

The die hard over-clocker will probably find the Sonata Elite a little cozy and lacking in the potential cooling power that they need. If you’re just looking to build a reasonable powerful and quiet gaming desktop or workstation then the sleek, clean lines and back to basics approach of the Sonata will serve you well.

Aesthetically the case is far more curvaceous than its distant P-series cousins, sporting a bevelled front that has a lockable door, letting you cheap out and mount a beige DVDRW/Blu-Ray drive and keep the resulting colour clash hidden away. There’s also an indent in which you can stick your choice of case badge, audio in/out, two USB ports and a very handy eSATA port. Although the benefit of a front-mounted eSATA port is still somewhat questionable, there are eSATA flash drives out there.

You’ll find the inside of the Sonata Elite comfortably spacious if you’re stepping up from the average PC case, inside is a fairly typical affair, without any of the thermal or acoustic isolation compartments of more expensive cases. You’ll find four 3.5″ drive bays, each of which is vertically orientated and includes silicone grommets for noise and vibration isolation, dampening those irritating hard drive noises. There are three 5.23″ bays, and an adaptor allowing you to mount a fifth 3.5″ drive in one of them.

The Antec Sonata Elite seems to go for between £70 and £80, with the refutable (not affiliated) offering it for £80.99. Certainly not a bad price, but there are far more attractive and interesting cases to be had. Incidentally they’re also made by Antec and their model numbers tend to begin with P.

Thursday, September 17th, 2009, Personal Computing.