SopranoRS 101 - Exterior
Our first enclosure is the SopranoRS 101. There are two base models in this product range, one with a side window and one without. This allows the customer to decide which version will look best in their chosen setting. While it isn't a huge feature, choice is always a good thing in my book.
The overall appearance is casual but the wave form of the front bezel allows you to set yourself apart from the normal. The bezel is plastic and the finish of the covering is very slick; Thermaltake calls it a "Piano Finish". The rest of the enclosure is a steel construction with a serviceable paint job on the exterior.
As already noted, the front bezel has a high sheen and a wave design that isn't ordinary, yet doesn't stand so much apart from the crowd that it looks odd. Toward the lower section of the bezel you can see some ventilation holes that allow entry of cool air into the system. This intake port is also filtered and designed to fit a fan between 80mm and 120mm, but this fan is sadly not included in the default configuration.
Located just to the right of the opening section of the front bezel you will find the front I/O ports. There is nothing fancy here and they are easily accessible. Included are a pair of USB ports and the standard jacks for a set of headphones and a microphone.
Opening the front bezel shows another piece of the Piano Finish touted by the manufacturers. There is room for up to four optical drives and also two externally accessible 3.5" devices. The bottom portion is dedicated to ventilation, so airflow should not be lacking.
The side panel is taken up mostly by the window, but if this is not to your liking you can get this same case without the plastic added. It all comes down to what you desire and you will be served either way.
Ass far as cooling is concerned, there are two vented areas to allow for intake but neither offers any filtration. The top grill is fitted with an adjustable cone to bring cool air directly to the processor area of the system and the bottom grill is designed to accept another 120mm fan, but this is not included in the default setup.
There is nothing out of the ordinary on the back side, but then we don't generally expect to see strange features here since the enclosure still has to maintain industry standard patterns for your hardware installation. Of note, however, is the included 120mm fan set up as a rear exhaust. While most cases have a fan in this location, many are smaller (and often louder) varieties than are offered with the Soprano.