What makes these particular email clients stand out from the crowd?
Linux machines fitted with either 8 or 16GB of RAM are unlikely to be affected by the memory footprint of the always-open email applications. However, for low-spec or older machines that have limited hardware resources, ClawsMail is the perfect solution. Not only does it require far fewer resources than its peers, it’s also feature rich, supporting both POP and IMAP accounts. In addition to extensive filtering capabilities, it also enables you to create coloured labels when sorting messages. Setting up new accounts is also straightforward in all the clients tested here.
Apart from emails, you can also use Evolution to schedule appointments and track your tasks list. Together with KMail, both programs are especially conscious of users’ privacy and provide easy means to sign, encrypt and decrypt messages. The import wizard on KMail supports a large number of applications that the tool can import from, such as Evolution, Thunderbird and Outlook Express. If you’re on a non-KDE system, you must install the akonadi-import-wizard package to access the feature.
Like the others, Mailspring also supports creating multiple accounts. Even the free version provides limited access to some of its Pro features such as delivery notification, which produces a pop-up as soon as emails are delivered to the recipient’s mail box. For important messages that require urgent replies, you can also create a reminder when composing messages. The application will inform you if no one has replied to your message within the specified time period. You can also receive a summary of messages sent and received, as well as track whether recipients actually open your emails, and whether they click a link in the message body, by clicking Activity on the sidebar.
When reading emails with Thunderbird, if you double-click a message, it opens in a separate tab. Unless you close such tabs after reading the mail, Thunderbird will keep them open indefinitely. Unlike the other tools that require add-ons to protect you from phishing attacks, Thunderbird natively offers this feature. Like its brother Firefox, Thunderbird features a vast array of addons that can be used to extend its functionality. You can also configure it to block HTML messages, if you find them a nuisance.
Many features are enabled by default on Mailspring, including signature. You should customise it before you start using the application for professional communications.