Email clients The Verdict
Mailspring is the youngest tool featured in this Roundup. All the others have received extensive coverage over the past several years, and we’ve certainly discussed them at length over the past few pages. In a break from tradition with our Roundups, where we normally spend some time going over the pros and cons of the winners, this time around we’ll spend more time talking about the last place finisher than all the other tools. This is because we’ve rarely come across an application that has so thoroughly impressed us. At the same time, a few poor choices and the lack of interest in providing key features also makes it one of the most disappointing tools ever featured in a Roundup.
Judging solely by the score on the different tests, you can see that Mailspring lags behind the other tools only in the add-ons and security features department. In today’s age, an email application that doesn’t enable you to encrypt messages or provide any means to filter spam is unimaginable. It’s for this reason that Mailspring finishes last. Otherwise, we were stunned with the speedy performance of the tool. Its search feature, quick configuration and near-instantaneous launch is something you must experience yourself, as words can’t do it justice. Even though the project relies on funding through the paid pro version, it still offers limited access to some of its best features such as delivery notification to the free users as well, which is much appreciated.
Granted, some of these features, such as delivery notification are also available on Thunderbird, but it isn’t as neatly tied into the desktop was Mailspring on our Budgie installation, with pop-ups informing us when a mail was read, or when a person visited a link we had shared.
KMail has made stunning improvements since last we looked at it in LXF151, and configuring a new account is now fairly easy. ClawsMail, unfortunately, is still not close to the simplicity of Thunderbird and Evolution. That said, there’s nothing wrong with ClawsMail, and if you’re restricted to a low-spec machine, we would recommend nothing else. Evolution is a close second, but Thunderbird wins on account of its default features, search prowess and numerous extensions.