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Antec Solo II review

Is nearly £100 too much for this quiet gaming case?

Our Verdict

For

  • Quiet (without massive graphics cards)
  • Capacious internals
  • Backplate removal to swap coolers

Against

  • Not that quiet
  • Some flimsy build quality
  • Price

Antec has a strong pedigree in low to mid-range, no-nonsense cases, and the Solo II we have got our mitts on here shows Antec can also throw their hat in the higher end case market as well.

However, as price tags increase in the case market, competition gets fierce. CoolerMaster, Corsair, Lian Li et al offer all kinds of fanciful cases brimming with extras and lurid gaming trim to the enthusiast with a hundred quid or more in their eager hand.

That's not to say cases like Antec's LAN Boy Air don't cut it with other high-end cases, it's just that traditionally its speciality lies with quiet home PC, workstation or entry level gaming cases.

The Solo II jumps through all these hoops: it is indeed quiet, visually sombre enough to stick in an office and capacious enough to fit a meaty gaming graphics card. But hold on… £95?

It looks like a £50 case, to be brutally honest. The front panel is a little wobbly, the PSU mounting's at the top of the case, and there's just one 120mm rear case fan. You know – like in 2005.

Those wouldn't be major criticisms if the price wasn't as high as it is, but at the £100 mark, it's miles behind others such as Corsair's 600T and CoolerMaster's HAF X.

Admittedly, the ground it loses is mostly in gaming and heat management terms. But these are the attributes that expensive cases justify their price tags by.

The Solo II's big enough to build a really high-spec PC inside and comes with a hole in the backplate for quickly swapping coolers, but that's where the enthusiast stuff ends. What's more, a beefy GTX 580 or the like is noisy enough to negate the sound dampening, so why would you choose this case over a thoroughbred gaming chassis? You wouldn't.

And if you wanted a workstation or basic home PC case, you'd get one that didn't cost nearly a hundred quid and did all the same things as this.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeComputer Case
Number of External 5.25" Bays2
Number of Power Supplies Supported1
Number of Power Supplies InstalledNo
Number of Internal 3.5" Bays3
Front USBYes
Front Audio InYes
Front Audio OutYes
Number of Total Expansion Bays5
Product FamilySonata
ColourPiano Black
Brand NameAntec
Form FactorMid-tower
Motherboard SupportedATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
MaterialAluminium, Steel
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Number of Fans Supported3
Number of Fans Installed1
Height440 mm
Width205 mm
Depth470 mm
ManufacturerAntec, Inc
Product ModelSOLO II
Product NameSonata SOLO II System Cabinet
Product LineSonata
Manufacturer Part Number0-761345-15131-3
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.antec.com/uk/
Marketing Information

The SOLO II emphasizes Quiet Computing and reinvents Antec's renowned Sonata line with a new set of attractive, practical features. Externally, the SOLO II's dual-layer 1.0 mm SECC/polycarbonate top & side panels absorb noise for exceptional sound dampening. To reduce vibration-related noise, the dual hard drive mounting system gives you the option of mounting your hard drives using tray mounts with silicone grommets or the tool-less suspension mount system. SOLO II features an anodized aluminum front bezel and piano black exterior for an elegant, professional appearance.

Limited Warranty3 Year
Weight (Approximate)9.16 kg