Rating: ★★★★½

I love two types of products: simple products that can be used in a million ways, and complex products that are easy to use. As Einstein put it, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That’s why the Joby Gorillamobile for iPod Touch is such a great device. It’s as simple as it can get, and has a billion uses.

The Gorillamobile is made specifically for the iPod Touch, but isn’t limited to it. Using an elegant switch-in and out system and four adapters that fit onto the top of the tripus (that’s octo – eight – pus), even though Joby sells it specifically for the iPod Touch (2nd and 3rd generation), the Gorillamobile works just as well with compact and sub-compact cameras, webcams, and just about any small and light gadgets you may own. Just remember that only two adhesive adapters are included, so if you plan on using the Gorillamobile for products without a 1/4th tripod screw, buy extra adhesive panels.

Specifically with the iPod Touch, the Gorillamobile is great, so long as it is a 2nd or 3rd generation iPod. The 4th gen, reviewed a few months back, does fit, but not well. That is to say the 4th gen iPod will stay put and fits comfortably in the case, but is prone to falling out if held upside down. The case is also a solid piece with no openings for the newer iPod’s camera, so it can’t be used for video. Also, because the 4th Gen iPod’s power/standby has been moved to the right (from the left, where it is on all older models), users with 4th Gen iPods will need to take the iPod out to turn it off.

Secondary devices, like cameras and webcams, work very well also with the Gorillamobile. I used the recently reviewed Sony Cybershot TX9 and Nikon S1100pj, and both fit fine on the Gorillamobile. The TX9 doesn’t weigh down the Gorillamobile, but the bulkier Nikon compact is on the cusp of being too heavy at 6.4oz. While the Gorillamobile does not have a listed maximum weight, I’d guess anywhere from 160-200 grams. 180 grams is 6.4oz. That means it will support the weight of most sub-compact cameras and webcams, but larger/heavier devices may not fit well. Taller electronics can also be a problem. The further they extend away from the base, the less weight they need to bend the legs.

As with most Joby products, the Gorillamobile uses the multi-joint legs which can be contorted into any desired shape for wrapping around poles, tree branches, or any way you can think of. The Gorillamobile is small with 6” long legs, so it won’t wrap around a flat surface well because the ball connectors are too small and light. Still, this is meant for an iPod Touch and similarly sized devices, meaning you can wrap the Gorillamobile around a door handle or even your hand, or rest it comfortably atop a display.

The lock switch is a nice touch. It keeps the attachable adapters in place in case the release is accidentally pressed. It may seem moot, but if the Gorillamobile isn’t securely fastened or slips for any reason, it’s better for the attached device that they do not separate. The shape and design of the Gorillamobile makes it resilient to falls. I plugged a webcam onto the Gorillamobile and poorly placed it between my two monitors and it fell, but with the lock enabled, it fell as one piece, not two. My webcam could have been damaged without that lock.

For $25, the Gorillamobile is an easy buy. It’s the kind of product that’s just convenient to have around the house, even if you don’t plan on using it regularly. Hell, just the other day I was shooting and couldn’t keep my camera in place, and used the Gorillamobile to keep it steady. Within ten seconds I got the shot I needed. The only downside is that there is no 4th gen iPod Touch model, so if you want to use the newer iPod’s camera with the Gorillamobile, it’ll require some DIY work to cut out a hole for the camera. My thoughts on it are simple: if you get a Gorillamobile, you will be pleased.

James Pikover

Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.