Have you tried Trillian Astra's all-in-one IM?

Trillian has come a long way since the first days this multinetwork IM client started letting you simultaneously chat with friends on multiple networks. If you haven't seen what's new in Astra, now's your chance.

The release of Yahoo's latest instant messenger for Windows (Yahoo Messenger 10 beta) got us revisiting two others that were updated in the more recent past: the all-in-one chat clients Trillian Astra and Digsby. We enumerated the program enhancements that went into Trillian Astra beta here, but after three years in the making (!), we were hoping to be wowed.

In terms of sexiness, that honor belongs to Digsby, which cuts a fine figure, but doesn't always smoothly deliver the performance goods. It also adheres to some questionable software bundling, and shady CPU practices while your computer runs idle. Users have since rebelled. At the very least, Digsby will change the way they alert you to these opt-ins and opt-outs, so we can all get back to enjoying a quality IM frenzy with friends on all our networks.

Don't get us wrong. Trillian Astra, with features like voice chatting and file transferring, by no means offers up a shoddy experience. There are, however, a few caveats to the service, including one of the most important--that some of Trillian Astra's best features are accessible only to those who have upgraded to the premium version. Luckily, we've captured Trillian's goods and bads on film. Check them all out in the First Look video above and see if Trillian is a better instant messenger for you.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.