Summary: The case overall is unimpressive, even for the price. Though I am a fan of simpler designs this case just doesn’t add any features. The main flaws are lack of venting, irremovable right side panel, awkward to open left side panel, hard to open front side panel, only 1 fan to move the air out of the chassis not counting PSU fan. Front panel only has audio in’s and out’s and 2 USB ports.
Summary: Antec Sonata Proto is a stripped-down version from Sonata III 500, therefore being cheaper than Sonata III 500 and Sonata Elite. If you like the looks from these other two cases and want to save some money and don’t mind lacking some features, this can be a good product for you. However, for the savvy user we think that Sonata III 500 provides a better value: it costs USD 40 more and comes with Antec Earth Watts 500 W power supply, which retails for USD 75.
Summary: Antec Sonata Elite is a mid-tower case targeted to the user that wants a good-quality mid-tower case target to silence. Here is a summary of what we found about this product.
In summary, we think this is a very good product for the user that wants to build a discreet computer where silence is the main goal. Of course if you want a case with a more aggressive looks or more ventilation options you will be better off with a different product.
Summary: The Sonata Elite retains the stylish appearance and solid construction of the Sonata III. However, many of the things Antec changed hasn't necessary made the Elite better. Moving the vents to the right side of the case might actually have made ventilation worse, making it harder for airflow to reach the components on the motherboard. The fact that Antec includes a side fan option seems to suggest they know airflow might be a problem for the Elite.
Pros: Stylish appearance, Good damping against noise and vibration, Low, smooth baseline noise, Very sturdy construction/design
Cons: Ventilation could be better, Only 3 external drive bays, Side filter holes too large, Power supply inaccessible after motherboard installation, Fairly ineffective side blower fan
Summary: The Antec Sonata Elite Case is a perfect option for an affordable quiet computer build. It comes with acoustic material on the left, right and top panels. It's a mid-tower case so there's a fair amount of room to work and has three 5.25" drive bays and four 3.5" drive bays. The shinny styling of this case might appeal to some. If your in the market for a quiet case, this is certainly an option.
Conclusion: Overall the Sonata Elite is very close to the Sonata 3. There are some changes in the layout and some new features and they all seem to take the model to the right direction. Sonata is advertised as a quiet case and I think now it can really stand for the marketing speech with its new sound dampening materials. On paper the difference may seem small, but atleast I found the Elite better than the Third edition.
Pros: Sound dampening material, All changes went to the right direction
Excerpt: Stylish, compact, and quiet, the Sonata Elite is an upscale case that can accommodate high-end components.
Pros: Stylish, Solidly built, Excellent noise dampening, Good airflow throughout case
Cons: Somewhat tight inside, Card cooler must be removed to swap expansion cards, Not much less expensive than some Sonata models that include power supplies, Floppy drives and 3.5-inch card readers must be mounted in a 5.25-inch bay with adapter