Xobni Plus 1.9.2 review

19 May 2010

Not a huge update, but for daily Outlook users the Plus features easily justify the price

5

We've long been fans of Xobni's Outlook-enhancing talents, but few of us in the office have felt inclined to shell out for the full Plus version. So, with version 1.9.2 now out in the wild, we thought we'd give it another chance to prove its worth.

The main addition is Outlook 2010 support (including the beta). It now works with both 32-bit and 64-bit flavours, and introduces an integrated ribbon search feature that continues to work when the Xobni sidebar is hidden.

But most of us are still using Outlooks 2007 and 2003, and there have been a few tweaks here, too. All users will be aware of the auto-suggested email addresses that appear as you type (teasingly greyed out in Xobni free), which are magically gathered not only from your own contacts but from within any email Xobni has seen. Now, should your list be clogged with out-of-date or unwanted addresses, a simple highlight and delete allows for spring cleaning; email an address again in the future and it will be re-added to the list.

Xobni still trawls Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for updates and photos from contacts that you're linked with on those sites, and it can now pull in profile images from Twitter. And the main section of the sidebar remains as brilliantly time-saving as ever, collating previous conversations, exchanged files and – only in Plus – exchanged links and Calendar appointments.

All said, there's not a whole lot else for existing Plus owners in version 1.9.2, but for them this is a free update. Users of the free version, on the other hand, are still missing out on some powerful tools indeed. The advanced search function is hugely versatile and works with an unlimited number of Outlook PST files, while the Xobni Analytics suite remains invaluable as a tool to improve both your time-management and your dealings with clients.

Xobni claims to have improved compatibility with various security suites, and we had no issues during our testing. But the bigger downside to Xobni remains its system footprint. On our test PC, Outlook occupied a mere 55MB of RAM, which soared to a massive 185MB with Xobni enabled and the PST file fully indexed. Unless you like your email at a crawl, it's not one for netbooks or low-end laptops.

But if you have a reasonable amount of RAM, Xobni Plus offers a range of tools that can really make a difference to your daily productivity. And when a single licence costs only $29.95, with each further PC at less than $10, it's a no-brainer for anyone who relies on Outlook on a daily basis.

Details

Price inc VAT 1 PC, $29.95; each additional PC, $9.95
Overall rating 5
Ease of Use rating 6
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Software subcategory Other software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes