Postbox Email Client review
Paying for an email program may seem pointless, as Mozilla's Thunderbird, one of the most popular email applications, and most webmail services are free. With Postbox, you've got a reason to spend your money.
Although it is based on Thunderbird, Postbox is heavily modified. In addition to all the features we'd expect from a modern email program, such as inline spell check, powerful filters and Bayesian spam protection, it also has other distinctive features which will tempt you to part with your money.
What immediately sets Postbox apart from the competition is its extensive search capabilities. Once all your email has been indexed, searching for a specific message, image, link or attachment from a specific person, by date, by keyword or a combination of all three is very fast. When viewing an email, a slide out panel allows you to quickly find all other messages, links, images and attachments from the sender of that message. A similar panel is also available when writing an email.
Like Google Mail, Postbox supports threaded conversations, so all emails sharing the same Subject can be grouped together making it easy to follow a lengthy conversation. Updates can be posted to Facebook and Twitter from within Postbox by simply selecting and right-clicking on the text you want to post and selecting the relevant menu command.
Since Postbox is based on Thunderbird, it shares some features with Mozilla's program. Configuration is very simple. The program automatically asks you for your email address when first launched, which is all it needs to configure itself automatically for most popular email services, such as Google Mail. If automatic configuration fails, entering your email server details is simple enough using the setup wizard.
Postbox also supports tabs, like those found in Firefox and Thunderbird, which helps reduces window clutter. Double clicking a message will, by default, open it in a new tab although you can still open messages as separate windows instead if you prefer. There's also support for plug-ins, so you can add extra features such as encryption or a calendar but Thunderbird add-ons aren't compatible.
Postbox is a great email program and its useful features, especially its fast and powerful search capability, will benefit users who need to sift through huge amounts of email. Less demanding users can get by with cheaper alternatives such as Thunderbird, but for everyone else Postbox is a great buy.
The review above is typical in that it has not tried out the software in actual use conditions (i.e., with a lot of email).
In real use, Postbox disappoints:
(1) The search feature is slow in large mailboxes.
(2) The search feature does not remember the last option used (unlike Thunderbird). I mostly search subject or sender. Postbox does not remember this as default.
(3) And finally, the most important. When used with Microsoft Exchange server in pop mode for offline use with a laptop, Postbox downloads every mail exactly twice. This has to do with Message ID being changed with first download.
When you contact their support to fix this, they are at first helpful, but when they discover that they cannot fix the problem, they simply fade away and no longer respond to your queries.
There are also many other problems, including inability to set defaults for message delete actions (go to the next message below instead of above, as most people read their emails from top down).
In all, I tried and was disappointed. Would not recommend to others. Software is potentially great, but a new entrant really cannot afford to treat users as arrogantly as this.
By qed007 on 10 Mar 2010
"Arrogant" is right
Having downloaded a trial version, I have three distinct problems with this client, none of which is addressed in the "knowledge base" that appears to be the only source of technical support. The search function for this section is hopeless. Apart from this, there is no access to any form of tech support. Indeed, the company seems to go to great lengths to make sure users can NOT make direct contact.
I would not use this if it were free, let alone pay for it.
By Livvy on 2 Jan 2012
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