I hate my Thermaltake Soprano!

February 23rd, 2007 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes

Thermaltake SopranoDid you ever have a day when technology just annoys you?  I don’t have them often.  Mostly I love technology but today I just feel like having a little rant … because I hate everything about my Thermaltake Soprano PC case.  Sure it looks good on the face of it – check out Thermaltake’s specification – but in reality it just doesn’t live up my expectations.

In fact the things that first attracted me to the case are the things that I hate most now. 


Screwless Design

  • The screwless slots are a let down as they don’t work for all cards and you end up using screws anyway and you end up having to remove the screwless catches to do that.
  • Similarly the tool-free Hard Disk installation is a great idea but is a let down in practice as the screw-free design secure the hard drives in place initially but they aren’t robust enough to withstand the vibration from the drives and eventually need replacing with screws.

Screwfree slots don't work for all cards Screwless hard drive installation doesn't hold after a while 

Front Panel

Thermaltake Soprano The 3 way lock is designed to lock with a key on the side of the case.  The key can be in 3 positions: front panel and front door unlocked for easy access to the drives, both locked and the front panel locked but the door unlocked.  Sounds great, but this third way only worked for a few weeks.  So to keep the door shut it was necessary to lock both the front door AND the front panel.  In practice this means leaving the key in the keyhole so that you don’t have to go hunting for your keys and then go reaching round the side to unlock the case each and everytime you want to change a CD.  Rather defeats the point of having a lock …

Three way lockThe wavy designed “The Curve that Tingles Your Heart” front door panel that closes to hide the drives is pretty but turned out to be a pain everytime I wanted to change a CD.  My system unit is positioned to the right of my workstation and I can’t change this, so having the door open to the left means that I’m reaching round the door to put CDs which got really annoying really quickly (as well as costing me a couple of nasty scratches on my CDs). 

So the front door didn’t last too long on there and now hangs around on the floor getting kicked occasionally.  I ocassionally put the door back on if I have someone to visit my office as the Soprano does look pretty shabby without the door. 

Sucking Dust

Soprano sucks dustIf you look at Thermaltake’s website you’ll notice that the Soprano comes equipped with a dust cloth.  This is for a reason.  If you want it to look as pretty it does in the sales literature you’ll have to dust it several times a day. 

But the main issue with the Soprano is a functional one not a cosmetic one.  This baby sucks dust. Big time!  Now all cases suck dust but what’s surprising with the Soprano is the amount of dust it sucks through the front panel and just how much ends up in and around the CD drives. 

I also have an Akasa All In One Multi function card reader and temperature monitor  in the front panel that gets totally choked up with dust that has to be cleaned out every time I try to insert a USB plug or Compact Flash card.  I put this down to the Soprano case because it just doesn’t happen in other cases.

Akasa All in one doesn't play nicely in the dust with the Soprano Akasa All in one doesn't play nicely in the dust from the Soprano

The dust sucking problem was solved partly by removing the door.  It still sucks in the dust but at least you don’t get such a shock when you open the door!

Don't open the door without taking a deep breath first!

This entry was posted on Friday, February 23rd, 2007 at 3:54 pm and is filed under Flotsam. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “I hate my Thermaltake Soprano!”

  1. Kathie sings the blues about her Thermaltake Soprano chassis » The PC Doctor’s blog Says:

    […] I think that it’s safe to say that Kathie hates her Thermaltake Soprano PC case .  I think this has a lot do do with the three kilos of dust that fell out of the front when she opened it up!  I’m not kidding you, there was so much dust you could ski on it!  Here’s what fell out after she took off the frame holding the filter in place (this frame didn’t look like it was meant to come off for regular cleaning). […]

  2. andyclap Says:

    I hate my thermaltake too! My door is also detached and sitting on a shelf (what were they thinking – that you’ll only ever use one cd?!?). Also the USB ports are in stupid places, and all the dust-sucking fans are just plain noisy. Good build quality though, but I won’t be buying one again because of the moronic design.

  3. jax Says:

    You could always change the fans for quieter, but still good airflow ones? I’m not currently using a Thermaltake case but the dust issues probably apply to many other types of case. My case (looks nice, but) has a front panel that to remove, involves a small screwdriver for leverage and painful fingers! I’ve no filters on the two 80mm intake fans, and as a result, a wad of lint/dust will build up over time. Ultimately, I take all fans out and clean them. Checking the temperature settings can give the game away that it’s time to take the panels off and clean it out. I do this about twice a year with some miniature attachments for a vacuum cleaner. People also say it’s worse if you have carpets, or animals. We have a wooden floor, but three pets! The pc I built for my teenage son never gets looked after, and he has a carpet! I can see the dust level through the side window, and I’m just waiting for the day it masses to becomes a new species of life-form. X-files re-opened!

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