The Bloomba e-mail client from Stata Labs has been making a name for itself with a fantastic search engine, but the latest release, the $90 Bloomba Professional Edition, is a well-designed e-mail and group calendaring client that is a compelling alternative to Microsoft Outlook.
I like Bloomba, which began shipping earlier this month, because of its search abilities. Searching for a message in Outlook is slow and often ineffective; and with a 450MB mail file, Outlook typically takes about 1.5 to 2 minutes to complete the process. In my tests using the same 450MB file, Bloomba found the same information in less than 2 seconds.
Essentially, Bloombas primary function is search; just about every element of the application makes searching simple. For example, I could perform a one-click search by sender name or subject. The search tool bar provides a broad range of search options without digging through menus, the way Outlook requires.
As an e-mail client, Bloomba Professional Edition has several nice features, including a preview pane that can be either below the messages list or to the right. It supports categories and message states such as "act soon" to quickly organize all messages in a category or state by search.
For those who must have an e-mail client that supports group calendars, Bloomba Professional Edition supports iCal, so Bloomba could easily replace Outlook without having to sacrifice on the collaboration front.
On the spam-fighting front, Bloomba uses SAproxy Pro, which utilizes Bayesian filters, white lists and blacklists, past history, rules, and spam databases such as real-time black-hole lists. Marking messages as spam is as easy as clicking the "delete as spam" button.