Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Though it had a few flaws, we were quite happy with Thermaltake's Tsunami Dream. With a solid aluminum case at a bargain price, the Tsunami Dream was styling. Now, the company is producing what could best be described as a lower-cost alternative. The Soprano is more of an entry-level case, made to offer the same basic look-and-feel in a sub-$100 package.
Why the Soprano name? Is Thermaltake trying to invoke images of shrieking opera divas or New Jersey mob bosses? No, it's the kind of name and marketing message only Taiwan could come up with: The name is in reference to the curved front panel, and the box proudly proclaims, "Curve is the same charming as music." Today we take a tour of the new case, building a system into it to see if this is a "charming" replacement for the Tsunami Dream, or a cheap cut-rate spin-off.
The general cosmetic appearance of the Soprano is very similar to that of the Tsunami Dream. The front door has that same basic "wave" appearance, though the shape of the curve is somewhat different between the two. We have no idea what Thermaltake means with its marketing slogan "curve is the same charming as music," but we don't think "music" when we look at it. We think "cheap plastic." Come to think of it, that does sound like most of today's pop stars.
Unlike the solid aluminum door on the Tsunami Dream, the Soprano's front door is lightweight plastic, and stops precariously at a 90-degree angle. It really feels like it would snap off easily.
Moving the lock on the right side to its third position disengages the rest of the front from the case, allowing this "second door" to swing free so you can install 5.25" or 3.5" devices (the case has room for four of the former and two of the latter). This is also how you get at the washable dust screen.