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June 15, 2006 by Devon
One of the most prevalent comments / gripes in the P150
discussion thread was that the P150 comes only in white. Forum user hightower
summed it up nicely: "Nice case, a real shame it isn't black as we all
know black computers are faster." With such a significant demand, Antec
quickly got working on a "faster" model.
That model has now been released, but it is no longer called the P150. Instead,
and for reasons known only to the Antec marketing department, it was renamed
SOLO, and integrated into Antec's "LifeStyle" line of cases (The P150
belongs to the "Performance One" category). Despite the odd rebranding,
the SOLO remains a P150 under its black-and-silver exterior, and provides the same airflow and the unique drive suspension system.
It should be noted that this paint job is a glossy one like that used on the Antec Sonata, rather than the more matte finish found on some other cases. Fingerprints and handling smudges are easily visible.
Black by popular demand, but no stealthed drive bays this time around.
Aside from the color, there are also a couple of minor changes to appease the
gods of product differentiation. Most importantly, the SOLO does not
include a power supply, perhaps because of the murky issues of compatibility surrounding the NeoHE 430 (now mostly resolved) that shipped with the original P150. Still, the power supply will likely be missed by some, as the pricing of the P150 with the bundled NeoHE is one of the cheapest quiet out-of-the-box case/PSU combinations ever.
Another minor change is that the front drive bays are no longer stealthed.
Presumably, the stealthed drive covers were dropped as unnecessary because black
optical drives are readily available. Pure white optical drives, on the other
hand, are virtually nonexistent.
Choose your own power supply none is included.
Aside from the power supply and the drive bays, were were only able to find
one other difference between the SOLO and our original P150 sample: The material
used for the elastic drive suspension. The Solo comes with fabric-based rings
that are much more durable than the rubber O-Rings that shipped in the original
P150. This is a welcome improvement, as several
users reported that the rubber rings were prone to snapping after a couple months
of use. The new bands are made of a bungee-like material that should continue
to provide support even if the internal elastic snaps.
Antec has stated that the new bands are also included in the currently-shipping
P150 cases, so the issue should be resolved no matter what your aesthetic preferences.
Fabric-reinforced elastic rings have replaced the fragile rubber O-Rings
from the original P150.
The Antec SOLO is a welcome revision of the P150 case. The new style should help the solid airflow and unique hard drive mounting system appeal to a whole new market segment. And, if the NeoHE 430 that comes bundled with the P150 is unneeded or unwanted, the SOLO provides a way to get hold of the case while keeping a redundant power supply out of the landfills.
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