By Nate Adcock on Fri, 02/04/2011
Becoming quite the case snob recently... This week I have found 2 great cases for iPod touch (though the iMainGoX shown works also with iPhone, most MP3 or similar devices and not exactly new). The other is the new Trident Aegis series case for iPod (shown below), which I like a lot. Wasn't sure what to think of the iMainGoX with it's bulky, zippered, hardshell design that includes a small stereo speaker set mounted on one side, until I heard the speakers. Cool, would aptly describe it... Mike Riley previously reviewed the iMainGoX, so you can check out his article as well.
The Trident Aegis is one of the most attractive case designs around (at least for Ipod touch 4G). The case is actually a combo of a silicone cover fitted inside of a harder polycarbonate shell. The cover also protrudes at the corners to add additional shock absorption. The inserts for the buttons and ports are all sufficiently covered or protected as well, though I found the audio jack cover a pain to get open (with just a finger nail). The front side of the unit is also partially protected by the rubber.
I really like the tapered look and rubbery feel of the Aegis. The camera aperture opening fits quite close around the lens, so I checked the camera app to make sure there was no effect. Cases too closely fitted like this can leave a shadow on one side of the image, so you should also make sure you get a good fitting cover in this regard. If it's made for iPod touch 4G like the Aegis (with the logo), should not be a problem, but never hurts to check. The case includes a 3.5mm audio adapter, in case you need a little extra length to plug in. It also comes with a screen protector, which looked like it could have been made for an older iPod touch (no pin-hole camera cutout).
The Aegis was a little hard to get lined up properly and seated on first try. Getting all the protrusions into the right places proved a bit of a challenge. The bottom edge of the shell wouldn't quite seat exactly along the cover. After squirming things around a bit, it was better. The case isn't water resistant, but it does provide good all-weather protection, and the grip-friendly shell should help protect your device from most incidental bumps, and shocks, etc.
The iMainGoX is really a neat idea in a case product. A hard plastic protective case that also contains a small speaker system (that can also be used as a mini-guitar amp). The case is quite bigger than wallet sized, and in the case of the iPod I think a good add-on for travel, or small office use but not so good for carrying around. An iPhone user could also possibly use this a conference phone speaker system.
The speaker side includes dual-headphone jacks and a mic input (that can also be used to plug in your electric guitar). To use as a mini-amp will require you to buy a 3.5mm-1/4" adapter plug. I really liked using this case for tilt-oriented games. The chunkier, heavier feel of it makes racing game control somehow smoother. The enhanced audio coming out of the back of the unit also made gameplay more realistic.
The sound the speakers produce is of good quality for an audio product this small. The iMainGoX is powered by a small 800Mah rechargable battery (which is also replaceable). The iPod (or iPhone, MP3 Player, etc) is placed in a kind of sleeve area in the front, secured by a snap-in panel and connected to an audio jack that snakes into the speaker unit. You can't charge the iPod or use any buttons of course, while it is inside the case.
The plastic shield, while allowing you to view the screen, was not very well placed for device input (especially at the edges--too far away from the screen). You can easily place an iPod with cover inside this case, but trying to play games that require touch input or to type extended text meant I usually ended up having to open and remove the iPod. I would likely remove (meaning cut out) the plastic view cover if I were to use this as an everyday case.
SO, 2 very diff case designs, but similarly useful. One to cover your iPod (for general use), the other to enhance the sound coming out of it. I like them both, though the plastic shield on the iMainGoX should probably go bye-bye (include a pack of screen protectors instead). I might even saw an opening in the bottom to let in a charging cable. The Trident Aegis is $24.95 and can be grabbed here at the vendor web-site. The iMainGoX can be found here for $69.