Kid-tough iPod Touch case: He's not a Woogie, not yet an Otterbox.
September 24, 2010 6:53 PM   Subscribe

I think I'm going to get my son an iPod Touch for his tenth birthday, but we're accident-prone people, and I know he'll also need a rugged case to take his tiny abuse. Can anyone recommend something?

An all-in-one solution--shock and scratch protection, screen protection, and maybe even splash protection--would be ideal. SwitchEasy's cases are ultra-protective and visually stunning, but they don't seem to have anything for the newest Touch. Other cases I've looked at don't seem as though they'd be able to withstand drops, or leave the screen unprotected.

My experiences with adhesive protectors for my own devices haven't been great--the hassle of application, peeling corners, bubbles, the hassle of application, peeling corners, and so on . . . but I haven't bought especially high-quality protectors, either, so maybe there are better options that might make other cases possible candidates even if they weren't all-in-ones.

I know there aren't lots of cases out for the fourth generation Touch yet, and even fewer specialized solutions. Is there a case that bridges the gap between Woogie and OtterBox? Thanks for your help!
posted by littlegreenlights to Technology (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's not even an OtterBox for the new Touches yet :/

There's just not much out there. Hard Candy Cases are my current top prospect on top of my ZAGG full-body protector (I paid an extra few bucks at the mall for a professional install, with a 14 day guarantee on the install and lifetime on the film itself).
posted by Rendus at 7:00 PM on September 24, 2010

posted by wayland at 7:05 PM on September 24, 2010

AppleCare does not cover accidental damage.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:08 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Applecare doesn't cover anything beyond the normal warranty. It just extends it a year.

(I'll also say I have an accidental damage warranty for 3 years through SquareTrade. Probably your best bet, in the long run).
posted by Rendus at 7:09 PM on September 24, 2010

I'm totally accident prone -- I've broken old Nokia brick phones (toughest mobiles in the world).

And I haven't broken my iPod touch. They are remarkable robust machines. I carry mine around loose in my purse, in my pocket, occassionally in my teeth. I have a cheap hard plastic case on the back only that I got to protect the metal back from scratches and perhaps to act as a bit of a crumple zone to absorb energy from a fall. I don't know if this would work, but I have dropped my touch many times and it's still going. The case does make it more comfortable to hold.

The screen doesn't need a protector -- it's tough glass. You can get protectors, but they are only important for reducing glare because the glass does not scratch like the plastic of most PDAs. If you do cover the screen, make sure the touch capacity can still work. The waterproof case my husband uses for his PDA does not work with my touch because the touchscreen will not register.
posted by jb at 9:19 PM on September 24, 2010

DealExtreme (my favourite retail therapy site) has heaps of covers, cases and replacement screens for the ipod touch.
posted by Kerasia at 10:05 PM on September 24, 2010

@ Rendus- Squaretrade looks like an incredible deal! I wish I had known that that existed before my own day of broken glass iSadness

On protectors:

I have had good luck with the invisible shield on my iPhone. They include a liquid of some sort (mostly alcohol, I think) that makes the bubbles go away.

On my old ipod touch (2g?) I have had a Marware silicon case and a screen protector, that has magically stayed on for two years, including one year of constant use. One key of that, I think, is to get a case that covers all the edges of the film.

As for withstanding drops- if you have some sort of case that cushions things just a little, that makes all the difference. My touch was dropped every couple days, and it is still ticking. My iPhone without a case, met a raw slate floor with very sad results. I agree with jg- ipod touches are tough!

For dealing with water- it appears that golden shellback is dead.. but they seemed cool!

On fixing if you break it:

Mission repair did a great job on my phone when I shattered its screen.
posted by rockindata at 10:22 PM on September 24, 2010

Beware that most or all of the cases currently on DealExtreme are not for the 4th gen Touch! If you're getting him a 2nd/3rd gen, then fine - but those cases won't fit the newest iPod Touch (and don't have a hole for the camera in back).
posted by rtha at 10:22 PM on September 24, 2010

I am exceedingly klutzy with electronics and I swear by the rubber Speck Touch Skin that I have on my Ipod Toch 2G. It doesn't cover the screen but does jut out enough to protect it if you place it screen down on a table. I have dropped my skinned Ipod multiple times onto hard surfaces and it has always bounced harmlessly.
posted by Hutch at 7:34 AM on September 25, 2010

Look in to getting a replacement plan for it. My sister is fond of dropping cell phones and ipods into diet cokes, so she gives some insurance company $5 or $10/month, and every time she destroys one or has it get stolen, they send her a new one.
posted by kavasa at 7:50 AM on September 25, 2010

No one should buy Applecare, and certainly not for an iPod.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:10 AM on September 25, 2010

I nearly bought the SquareTrade plan for my iPhone 4, but I didn't. It was something like $99 up front and then $50 when I damage my phone and it needs to be replaced. It doesn't cover loss or theft.

That's $149. Getting Apple to replace the phone after I drop it in the lake is $199. That's only a difference of $50, so I figured it's not really worth it to me. At least with AppleCare the battery is covered in the second year.

If I could find a plan that covers theft/loss, I'd consider it. Losing your phone means AT&T will charge you ~$600 for a replacement. Ouch. I went with an OtterBox and it seems to do a good job of protecting the phone, although it does transform the phone from this sleek little gadget into a clunky, rubber rectangle.

If you're more worried about dropping it in water or breaking the glass than you are about loss/theft, something like SquareTrade is a good idea.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:58 PM on September 25, 2010

If it is at all reassuring, I discovered that the ipod touch is surprisingly durable. I accidentally dropped mine three storeys off a balcony and all that happened were a few shallow dents in the back. The screen wasn't even cracked and all I had on it was screen protector film to guard against scratches.
posted by kitkatcathy at 12:59 PM on September 25, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all the advice. I ended up buying a Griffin FlexGrip Action case and a screen-only Zagg, but wanted to give it some time to see how the combination worked before reporting back.

So far, so good. The wrist strap is perfect, the case feels natural, grippy, and seems to provide extra corner cushioning where it's flared a bit. The Zagg screen protector is everything they bill it as. It can end up looking like crap after a day of kids' fingers all over it, but looks brand new with just a t-shirt hem wipe-down and doesn't seem to affect touchscreen behavior negatively. If anything, I like the little bit of extra slide-resistance it lends the touching surface.

I don't even worry when he lets his two-year-old sister play with it, and she's probably getting something similar for Christmas since the toddler and preschool apps enhance her natural genius. :) He may lose it, or I may end up washing it, but I don't think it's going to get broken or scratched up.
posted by littlegreenlights at 7:18 PM on October 20, 2010

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