Outlook 2013

Outlook 2013: much more than just an email client

Many people think of Outlook as the Office email client, and it's very good at handling one or more email accounts and working with back-ends like Exchange, but Outlook 2013 shows that there's a lot more to the application than that. See all Office software reviews.

Outlook 2013 integrates email, contacts, schedules and to do list and Outlook 2013, while offering no earth-shattering improvements, meshes these tasks more smoothly than before. See all: PC Advisor software downloads.

Outlook 2013 looks even more minimalist than the other Office 2013 applications, partly because the ribbon is hidden by default and partly because there's very little use of colour. Click on any of the tabs at the top of the screen and the ribbon appears and down the left-hand edge of the screen four icons call up the functions within Outlook that aren't currently displayed. You can hover the mouse over them, too, for a peek, for example, at the calendar from within the contacts display. (Check out our reviews of the 2013 versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel.)

Outlook 2013 on a tablet

Outlook has been adapted to cater for touchscreen use on a tablet, but even with extra space within the ribbon and better organisation of individual messages, it's not easy to operate some areas of the program from a small tablet. Try selecting a single initial letter in the contacts list without a stylus, for example.

There are several new email features which make group working easier. The program has been able to manage multiple mail accounts for many years, but now you can send and make responses across two or more accounts at once. You can also share your calendar, so others can see when you are available for meetings or other activities.

Perhaps the biggest single change is the inline reply. It's used primarily for commenting on points in a received email. We've all had to go through an email, responding to queries or raising questions in what's been written. This is now possible directly and using a preface, such as you name in brackets, automatically inserted before each comment. All this can be done without having to first create a reply email, though one is added to your sent list when you post it back. Read our full Office 2013 review. For more business software reviews visit Business Advisor.

Outlook 2013: Specs

  • 1 GHz or faster x86 or 64-bit processor with SSE2 instruction set
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit)
  • 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 3.0 GB available disk space
  • Graphics hardware acceleration requires a DirectX10 graphics card and 1366 x 768 resolution
  • Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, or 10
  • Mozilla Firefox 10.x or a later version
  • Apple Safari 5
  • or Google Chrome 17.x
  • .Net version: 3.5, 4.0, or 4.5
  • A touch-enabled device is required to use any multi-touch functionality
  • 1 GHz or faster x86 or 64-bit processor with SSE2 instruction set
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit)
  • 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 3.0 GB available disk space
  • Graphics hardware acceleration requires a DirectX10 graphics card and 1366 x 768 resolution
  • Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, or 10
  • Mozilla Firefox 10.x or a later version
  • Apple Safari 5
  • or Google Chrome 17.x
  • .Net version: 3.5, 4.0, or 4.5
  • A touch-enabled device is required to use any multi-touch functionality

OUR VERDICT

Outlook 2013 is a streamlining job, but once you've got used to the spare design, these small savings add together to be a useful upgrade to Outlook 2010.

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