The MSN Direct service is subscription-based, but the unit comes with 12 months free. In addition to full traffic, weather and fuel price information for the entire U.S. and Canada, the MSN Direct service also provides access to news headlines, stock quotes and local events listings, such as movie times, sports events and music concerts.
"Together MSN Direct and Nextar are adding value to portable navigation devices that translates into real benefits for consumers — helping them reduce commute time, save on fuel and increase productivity," said Patrick Kennedy, Director of Business Development, MSN Direct.
The Nextar unit features a 4.3" TFT color touch-screen display with built-in speaker, voice-guided navigation and full maps for the U.S and Canada as well as storage capability for up to 300 addresses, 2D and 3D map viewing modes, an SD card slot for expansion, plus MP3 player and JPEG picture display functions.
The unit will retail for $329.99 in the U.S. starting in the first quarter of 2009.