From the Cheapskate: Or get the Pro version for just $24.97, a full 50 percent off the regular price! Either way, you've just found a superb replacement for Microsoft Outlook. Plus: Prime Day pricing on the Amazon Echo and Tap!
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
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Does anyone still use desktop mail clients? You know, programs like Outlook and Thunderbird, which let you manage multiple email accounts?
I certainly do. Much as I love Gmail, it's a bear to use in a browser -- especially if you have more than one account. I'm also a pretty big fan of Outlook, one of the bundled products in Microsoft's Office suite.
Ah, but what happens when you ditch that suite for the likes of, say, WPS Office? You could move your email business to Thunderbird or Windows Mail -- but there's a better option: Em Client 7. It's the latest version of what I've long regarded to be the best free desktop mail client.
Before we go any further, though, you should know that the free version is limited to two accounts. If you have more than that, you'll need the Pro version. It normally costs $49.95, but for a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get Em Client 7 Pro for $24.97.
Two things I especially love about this program: the clean, attractive interface (spruced up even further than the last version's) and the inclusion of a universal inbox, which shows all your mail in one folder rather than making you click between multiple inboxes (cough, Outlook, cough). It also has an integrated chat client that supports all the major services.
Two things I don't like: Individual emails don't have an embedded single-click delete icon, which I've grown accustomed to in Outlook, and clicking Reply opens a new window rather than giving you an inline reply. Minor quibbles, both.
Em Client is not only a mail manager, but also a contact, task and appointment manager. Of particular interest, it can import PST files from Outlook, thus easing the transition from that program. Em also supports data files from all the other major programs, including the two I mentioned above, and it works with popular mail services like Gmail, Exchange, iCloud and Outlook.com.
The free version is virtually identical to Pro, except for the former's aforementioned two-account limitation. If you decide to go Pro, you'll get unlimited accounts and VIP support. (Pro also allows for commercial use, whereas Free is for personal use only.)
Em Client lacks some of Outlook's more sophisticated features (which I suspect few users need or want), but for an individual or small-business user, it has everything one might need. You've got nothing to lose by trying it and everything to gain by, well, trying it. It definitely ranks among my favorite freebies.
Needless to say, if there's another mail client you like better, talk it up in the comments.
Bonus deal: So, yeah, remember all the fuss about Amazon Prime Day? Turns out that wasn't the only day to score a deal on Amazon products. Today only, Bed Bath & Beyond is offering the Amazon Echo for $129.99 and Amazon Tap for $79 -- the very same prices so widely feted on Prime Day. Best Buy and Lowe's are offering similar deals, online only.
Oh, and you don't have to already own an Echo if you want to order a Tap; this deal is for all comers. Shipping is free -- sales tax, not so much. But you can dodge it at B&H Photo, which has the same prices on both products.