The New York Times has released an application called the Times Reader. This application attempts to emulate the look and easy accessibility of an actual newspaper. It’s available for download now.

Though it’s just in beta, I found the experience quite pleasant. After registering for the free service, I downloaded the application (requires Windows XP and it installs Microsoft .NET 3.0 software) and read a few of the Times’ articles for the day including a detailed story about China’s leaders and their stance on the nation becoming a global power, an article about a new type of keyboard, and an article covering the pros and cons of cell phone insurance.

NYT Reader screenshot
The New York Times Reader viewing the Technology section

It has several benefits compared to a standard news site or aggregator. The application enables the paper to maintain its typical look, feel, and layout on a computer screen. It does this while also providing enhanced abilities such as adjustable font sizes, links to external websites, and easy navigation to any section of the paper. Of benefit to the NYT is their ability to control the layout and sizing of the advertisements which obviously fund the service.

Another nice feature for the user is the ability to schedule updates. You can have it sync to the server and download the latest articles once a day. In addition to this, it can grab new stores on an interval you set (30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes).

If you’re able to run this application and our looking for a bit more news and depth than the Drudge Report can give you, or perhaps you can’t afford a real newspaper, this would be a great application for you to give a try.