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Nextar Steps Up PND Lineup

La Verne, Calif. — Many second- and third-tier suppliers of personal navigation devices (PNDs) are exiting the market, but Nextar is dramatically expanding its lineup.

Nextar is unveiling several PNDs that broaden the company’s reach beyond the basic models it has offered in the past at outlets such as Kmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s and Bon Ton to include models with mid- and high-end features such as 5-inch and 7-inch screens and MSN Direct traffic.

The company’s new Q4-MD will offer a year of free MSN Direct, which provides local gas-price listings, news headlines, stock quotes, local movie times, event listings, real-time traffic and three-day weather forecasts. The Q4-MD features 4.3-inch touchscreen, text-to-speech street-name pronunciation and built-in maps of the 50 U.S. states and Canada. It also supports three languages, has 1.6 million points of interest (POI), and includes an MP3 player and photo viewer at a suggested retail of $329. 

Nextar is also showing two large-screen PNDs, the Snap 5 and 7. The slim-line units use a magnetic docking system to adhere to a mounting bracket for easy mounting. They include all the features of the Q4-MD, except for MSN Direct, and they store maps on a 2GB SD card. The Snap5 with 5-inch screen will carry a suggested retail of $299, and the Snap7 with 7-inch screen will be available at $349.

At the entry level, Nextar is showing a slim-line model, the ME, with text-to-speech pronunciation of street names, 3.5-inch screen, 1.6 million POI, maps of 50 U.S. states, MP3 player and photo viewer at a suggested retail of $129. All of the new units are slated for spring shipment.