The 4 Best Devices for Sending and Receiving Email

Forget the computer: send email from anywhere

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At one point in time, email-only devices (also known as email appliances) were rather popular among people who didn't want to use a computer. These were most common before smartphones gave everyone the ability to access their email accounts from anywhere in the world.

Now that smartphones and tablets have made accessing email without a computer easy, we have more options for getting and sending email messages. A few devices are still dedicated to email alone, and they are useful for the right person.

Below are some of the best options, from smartphones and tablets to email appliances. They are very easy to use and set up with an email account and are particularly geared toward the elderly who don't want to fuss with computers or laptops. These devices allow them to stay in contact with family and friends by sharing emails and pictures at minimal cost. 

Our Top Picks

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iPhone 8 Plus Silver
loops7 / Getty Images

If you're looking for a smartphone that makes email easy, the iPhone is a good choice. You can pick up an older, used model for pretty cheap if you're using it only for email and don't care about the latest, greatest features.

iPhone Mail does a great job rendering emails and attachments. Like most Apple products, it's very easy to set up and use.

You need an internet connection to send and receive emails. Extra apps such as Skype are great for staying in touch, too, and choosing this device gives you the ability to hold a regular, face-to-face conversation if you'd like.

If you don't need the telephone functions, want something a little bigger, and like the ease and simplicity of the Apple ecosystem, look into an iPad tablet.

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Kindle Fire Tablet

Amazon Kindle Fire tablet over a blue tissue
Bosca78 / Getty Images

Tablets are flexible. They have larger screens than smartphones, but they afford all the same mobile functions. You can even use it to have video chats on Skype and read e-books that you purchase, download for free, or check out from your library.

As with other options, you need an internet connection (through your mobile phone carrier or Wi-Fi) to send and receive email, but not to play games, take pictures, or view previously downloaded emails and movies.

There's only a slight learning curve before you're ready to send and receive email with all of the features you'd use for email on a computer. You can even access social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so you can keep in touch with family and friends.

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The BlackBerry is an iconic cell phone that is compact and very user-friendly. It was originally designed with business professionals in mind, so there's less of the fluff that comes with iPhones and Android phones.

The best feature of the BlackBerry is the QWERTY keyboard. Rather than the touchscreen keyboards found on most smartphones, a BlackBerry has real buttons. Many users still enjoy the tactile feedback this method affords.

Before buying a BlackBerry, check that it will work with your cell phone carrier, particularly if you're buying online.

The BlackBerry platform has fewer apps for games, etc. than other options, though there are some you may find useful. It functions well as an organizer and internet surfer.

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Photo from Amazon

The MailBug email appliance keeps things simple. It comes with just the essential functionality — to send and receive email — so it's extremely easy to set up and use. A full-size QWERTY keyboard and an easy-to-read screen add to its usefulness for those who can't or won't use computers. At less than $100 and the cost of your home phone service, it's a really good deal if your needs are truly limited to email.

This seems like very old technology, but it's actually quite useful for people who don't want to mess with computers, tablets, or phones. It is perfect for senior citizens who want to stay connected via quick email messages without the learning curve associated with newer devices.

You won't require an internet connection; instead, MailBug uses your landline phone connection. Your email address is set up through the Landel Telecom company after you purchase the device.

It does have its limitations. For instance, it will display .pdf files, but not other types of attachments, such as photos. However, you can access your MailBug email account from any computer if needed.