In keeping with our review of Microsoft Outlook Plug-In solutions, we decided to conduct a little experiment to compare one of the brightest stars in the industry, Xobni, and another product we had looked at once before, Lookeen. At the heart of both products is Outlook productivity through search. We set up 3 test sets with emails, attachments, contacts, appointments, and tasks. One thing we did not try was multiple .pst files; perhaps we will try that experiment at a later date. The results were interesting, but not surprising: both products index your email folders, keeping track of what you receive and send. Our expectations were that both plug-ins would perform equally well. The two products presented basically the same information, and the speed was almost identical, so this required us to look at more subjective matters such as aesthetics and personal opinions. We stayed away from price but the two products are only separated by about $10.
Xobni - Its integrated model with Outlook and fashionable user interface wins a lot of points amongst the staff here. Xobni has nice features such as analytics and a well-organized information window that quickly displays contact information, conversations, and files exchanged. On the downside, Xobni did miss one email in our tests that Lookeen caught, and the integration does take up a bit of room in an already busy Outlook window.
Lookeen - This plug-in seems to find the emails, appointments, and tasks as fast as Xobni, and the results are displayed in a separate window that can easily be displayed alongside Outlook or on a second monitor. Lookeen is not as pretty as Xobni, and it is missing some nice features (like analytics), but if you are just looking for search capability, it is a good product.
At the end of the day we have mixed reviews internally, but the majority of people are currently using the free version or pro version of Xobni. Lookeen hasn’t disappeared, but with the pricing being similar, Xobni is the preferred tool we use.