Sonata Plus 550 is a mainstream high-quality mid-tower case from Antec, coming with a very well-known 550 W power supply (Antec Neo HE 550), a three-speed 120 mm fan on the rear and a very beautiful black finishing. Let’s take a full look at this case from Antec.

Antec Sonata Plus 550Figure 1: Antec Sonata Plus 550 case.

As you can see in Figure 1, Sonata Plus 550 is made of zinc-coated steel (a.k.a. SECC) with automotive black paint applied and a plastic front panel without a door protecting its bays.

Sonata Plus 550 has four external 5.25” bays and one of them (the bottom one) can be used to hold a 3.5” floppy disk drive, as it provides a frame to make this possible. This case features two USB ports, one FireWire (IEEE1394) port, mic in jack and headphone out jack. We think a case with this construction level (and price range) should have at least one eSATA port on its front panel, a feature that is becoming more and more common and important, as users are using eSATA-based external hard disk drives to backup their data and/or carry data around.

Antec Sonata Plus 550Figure 2: Front panel.

Between the front panel and the main case body there is a vertical mesh that is used for air intake. Usually air enters the case from a mesh located on the front panel or from below the case, on a small opening available between the front panel and the body of the case.  We think that creating this mesh the way Antec did on this case was a very clever move, as in our opinion this solution provides a better airflow to the case, as this case has a bigger intake area.

Antec Sonata Plus 550Figure 3: Air intake.

In Figure 4, you can see the rear of this case. There you can see the rear 120 mm fan and the power supply that come with the product. This case has seven expansion slots, just like 99% of the cases on the market today.

Antec Sonata Plus 550Figure 4: Rear panel.

You can easily add a real lock to this case making it difficult to unauthorized people to open it and steal parts, what can easily happen on a LAN party, LAN café or exposition, for example. Another use that can be given to this hole is to add a warranty seal, making the warranty voided if the user breaks it.

Antec Sonata Plus 550Figure 5: Place for installing a lock on the rear side of the case.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.