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When it comes to email, I'm old-school: I like a desktop client. That's in part because I have multiple accounts to manage, and in part because Gmail's browser-based interface is -- and I say this without hyperbole -- the worst thing ever in the history of humanity. (Also, it doesn't allow you to manage multiple accounts, which, after all these years, is just kind of insulting. Google. Yeah, I'm calling you out.)
Alas, there are exceedingly few free desktop email managers. Thunderbird is the go-to choice for many folks, but I don't care for its dated interface. Em Client is better, but the free version limits you to just two email accounts -- and the Pro version costs $50.
So allow me to make the case for Mailbird Pro, which is not only the prettiest Windows mail client, but also one of the smartest I've tried.
Mailbird is a decidedly modern email client, with features like touchscreen support that make it a great choice for tablets and touch-enabled laptops. Thus you can swipe your way through your inbox, quickly archiving messages as you go -- same as you do on a phone.
Another feature not usually found in desktop clients: a unified inbox. Hallelujah! Why click through a bunch of different accounts when you can see all your mail together? Mailbird can even sort that unified inbox so all unread messages appear at the top.
Another killer amenity: snooze. For any email you want to deal with later, just press Z and choose a time for it to return to the top of your inbox. Mailbird also offers a speed-reading option that works similarly to tools such as Spritz.
Finally, Mailbird supports a bunch of third-party apps, everything from Facebook and Twitter to Asana, Dropbox, Evernote and Wunderlist. Once you connect with any of these tools, you'll gain easy access to them in Mailbird's collapsible sidebar. Oh, and for business types, there's a one-click LinkedIn-lookup feature.
I have exactly two complaints with the software. First, searches aren't dynamic: results don't appears as you type, only after you hit Enter. Second, my workflow preference is for messages to remain marked as unread until I reply, and that option isn't available. (Surprisingly few mail clients offer it; Outlook, for its part, does.) And I'm sorry to say that's the dealbreaker for me.
I'm really sorry, because everything else about Mailbird rocks. I love the unified inbox, love the snooze and speed-read options, love the app integrations.
For many users, my issues won't be issues at all. If you have even the slightest interest in a desktop email manager, I cannot recommend Mailbird highly enough. Start with the free Lite version, keeping in mind it'll take a few days to get comfortable, then grab the Pro or Pro Lifetime deal if you like it. (The sale runs through the end of the month.)
Bonus deal: This feels like a pricing mistake, so I'm not sure how long it will be around, but as of this morning you can get Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X9 for $14.99, a price that includes film-effects plug-in NewBlue. (Remove the two-year download insurance from your cart to get the $14.99 price.) Update: Alas, this was indeed too good to be true, as Corel has already pulled the deal.
This new version of Corel's video editor -- which supports multicamera editing, among other things -- has a list price of $99.99. Alas, I haven't found any reviews to speak of, but the X7 version from a couple years back was rated pretty high.