For far too long have we neglected one of the most iconic handheld Multi-Touch gaming, music and internet devices on the planet, the iPod Touch. We've reviewed countless cases for the iPhone, many of which were made out of aluminum. Rokform isn't new to aluminum cases and we've even took a look at its unique Rokbed case for the iPhone 4 a while back. The company's latest and first aluminum case made for the iPod Touch 4G is called the Rokpod. An equally visually captivating aluminum case as the Rokbed. The full review is only a break away!
The Rokpod comes in four anodized colors at $79. The one we're currently reviewing is the matte black. Out of the cardboard packaging you find instructions on how to properly install the Rokpod on your iPod Touch 4G, a keychain torx driver tool and two additional extra screws just in case. Rokform also includes a pre-paid customer feedback postcard. Not many case companies are this interested in involving the most important people who will give proper feedback. It shows that Rokform cares and is open to improving its products based on your opinions.
I'm pleased to see that Rokfrom has in fact listened to some of our initial complaints about the Rokbed case for the iPhone 4 and it has added felt pads to the Rokpod to reduce any friction and metal-on-metal contact.
Rokform's concept hasn't changed one bit with the Rokpod displaying a strong resemblance to the Rokbed with more rounded top corners and a blocky shaped bottom. The Rokpod has the same slider-style design with a removable bottom piece held by only two back facing torx screws. Sliding the iPod Touch 4G into the Rokpod is better done when laid flat on a table and can be a little difficult to smoothly slide it in at first. In any case, you won't have to worry about anything getting scratched or damaged. The fit is snug as it should be, however the bottom piece that secures the iPod Touch 4G inside the Rokpod doesn't flawlessly meet up with the rest of the case. There's a a bit of gap when looking at the case from the sides and front. It isn't too obvious but it's worth pointing out.
It's also worth mentioning that you get absolutely no screen overlay, meaning by design the Rokpod isn't protecting your screen by recessing it with a raised bezel. On the plus side you do get to enjoy the extra slimness of the iPod Touch 4G.
When I reviewed the Rokbed case for the iPhone 4, I thought it was one of the coolest, rugged looking aluminum cases I had ever seen. Well this time Rokform has proven once again that all of its cases are amazingly different and at a higher level of being different from all the rest. The Rokpod is hands down the most unique aluminum case for the iPod Touch 4G. I mean just look at all of that awesome spiralling cage of metal protecting your iPod Touch 4G, but at the same time revealing its shiny chrome beauty. It's made from a single block of CNC machined 6061 T-6 aluminum that is extremely light weight at only less than an ounce.
This is one of the only cases I've come across the literally throws the iPod Touch's beveled curved out the window and brings it closer feeling to it's older more block-designed brother, the iPhone 4/S. The matte finish is done perfectly and nears the quality of the anodized aluminum finishes on ElementCase cases. Smooth all around without a single imperfection.
Granted the Rokpod does leave some room for your fingers to feel at home when holding your iPod Touch 4G in the hand, but for the most part it adds its respective bulk that somehow manages to feel alright. But saying that without pointing out the biggest and thankfully the single only flaw that has hunted the Rokbed and now sadly the Rokpod as well, is the comfort issue. Holding this case in the hand feels like holding a sharp piece of industrial machinery. Yes it does have that jaw dropping, eye catching style to it, but I can't help get over the fact that is just doesn't feel great in the hand. There's quite a lot of grip to go around I'll give it that. The blocky bottom here still manages to rub me off the wrong way and my hand has started to miss the soft, well rounded rubbery feeling of a traditional case.
With that being said, the Rokpod isn't all that bad and doesn't make you feel uncomfortable to the point where you rather take it off. If you're overly sensitive, this aluminum case probably isn't going to suit you all that well.
As for protection, the Rokpod is only part case part bumper and does reveals quite a lot of the iPod Touch 4G's goods to everyone. So while the Rokpod shouldn't be on your list of the most protective cases, it also does a pretty good job keeping those exposed parts relatively safe behind those metal crisscross bars. Since the fitting is pretty tight, I cannot verify whether you'll be able to use a back skin like a GelaSkins, Clear-Coat or Wrapsol with the Rokpod. Any screen protector will work though. We've said it time and time again, aluminum cases are first and foremost "show-off cases".
All of the buttons are easily accessible with generous cutouts made except for one. The bottom dock connector cutout is on a tight side and will just allow the Apple 30-pin USB sync and charge cable to be inserted. The clearance is so tight that you'll notice some scuffing being made to the cable plug after a while. Now on the other hand, all slim 3.5mm headphone plugs fit very well into the iPod Touch 4G's bottom headphone port.
If only Rokform veered from its past mistakes with the Rokbed case, the Rokpod would have been a perfect aluminum case. The Rokpod has got one sexy style going on for itself, but unfortunately it isn't the most comfortable to hold and I only hope Rokform does something about the sharp edges on the Rokpod. If you think the Rokpod will help you game better, you should look elsewhere. This case is not for the faint of heart, but will sure put on a show for all those around you. The Rokpod is a good alternative if you're tired of the same old plastic cases and itching to drop $79.