"Excellent case delivering the promised quietness"4.5 starson by TheKostya
Pros: Quiet as promised, stylishly looking, easy add/remove hard drives
Cons: Opening side panel needs more force than desired
Summary: I use Sonata cases on 3 of my computers that I have put myself together (e.g. not bought an already assembled configuration). I have 1 case of Sonata II and 2 cases of Sonata III. Purchasing Sonata II case was a recommendation by a friend of mine, and at first I wasn't sure that extra $50-60 compared to the ordinary cases is worth paying for a computer case. But once I started putting the motherboard and hard drives inside I already started feeling the great user-friendliness and thought put in the design of this case. For my next 2 computers I purchased Sonata III model, and I didn't find much difference between the two models. Here are my pros/cons:
1. Overall quietness is really good, and I appreciate that a lot, especially times when I sleep in the same room where computers are running and I need them to be on. It also gives better piece of mind while simply working. One of the computers stays in the living room and I use it to watch movies, which gives me better experience by not hearing extra noises coming from coolers and hard drives
2. Side doors allow for very fast opening of the boxes and taking a look inside.
3. First time putting hard drives in takes same time as in a regular box, but after it's a different story. The easily detachable hard-drive sliding panels allow for very fast moving around of the hard-drives. Combined with Point 2 (the side doors), it makes it even faster.
4. The rubber (on model II and silicon on model III) between the panel and the hard drive reduces significantly the noise coming from it, as well as it saves hard drive’s life-time. To me, this simple feature alone is worth those extra dollars I paid.
5. Access to turn on/off button, reset button and DVD player is protected by front panel that can be locked if needed. Even with no locking it already protects those buttons from my little son who often plays around by the computer that stays in the living room.
1. Side panel sometimes are somewhat hard to close/open, even though the general idea is user-friendly. For one of the boxes I though it was locked and keys didn't help, so I called customer service, which recommended just to try harder
2. Power and hard-drive lights are very nice (blue color), but I had to put a piece of duck tape on them for my computer in the living room, as it was irritating while watching movies.
Summary: I simply love this box and in my opinion paying the extra dollars totally worth it for what you get.