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NordicTrack E 15.0

*Est. $1,500
Reviewed
October 2012
by ConsumerSearch
NordicTrack E 15.0

Pros
  • 10-inch iFit tablet
  • Decline
  • 36 preset workouts
  • Small footprint
Cons
  • Questionable customer service
  • No reverse stride

Bottom Line

Despite its small size, the NordicTrack E 15.0 delivers performance similar to that found in models twice its price. It also features innovations found nowhere else, such as decline and the iFit Tablet. Smaller ellipticals exist, but the E 15.0 is the best small-footprint elliptical trainer.

Performance

Heavy flywheel, cool features, compact size. The NordicTrack E 15.0 provides a smooth, natural motion thanks to its unheard-of 32-pound flywheel and sturdy frame that measures just 65.8-by-25.5-inches. Fred Waters of Fitness-Equipment-Source.com says, "There is a major difference in the feel of the stride in comparison to cheaper models that use lightweight flywheels." Thanks to its front-drive design, the E 15.0's padded and adjustable foot pedals are placed closer together to reduce strain on the user's hips.

The NordicTrack E 15.0 stands out with several cool new features to help make workouts more effective and enjoyable. In addition to its 10-inch Google Android-powered tablet, the machine can decline to minus-10 degrees and incline to 20 degrees. Other ellipticals in this price range typically have a gradient of 0 to 40 degrees. The E 15.0's full-color tablet is web browser capable, and collaborates with iFit Live to imitate user-set routes via the incline ramp. Exercisers can connect with a wireless network to check email, map virtual routes, browse Facebook, watch movies and more.

One major downfall of the E 15.0 is the lack of a reverse stride, which can target different muscle groups than forward motion.

Ease of Use

Everything at your fingertips. Despite its 36 workout programs and 28 resistance levels, NordicTrack modifications keep the E 15.0 user-friendly. The movable handles include incline and resistance controls, and handgrips are soft and ergonomic. Heart rate can be measured using either CardioGrip technology in the handlebars or the included chest-strap heart monitor. A continuous reading from the chest strap displays on the touchscreen to help users stay in their target zone.

From the control console, exercisers can quickly change digital resistance levels or control the incline. The console also includes a built-in two-speed fan, and two 2-inch speakers with iPod and MP3 player input plugs. Waters says the speakers are above average in quality for an elliptical.

Using the iFit tablet, users can download personalized fitness programs from iFit.com and track their progress. iFit programs are professionally created and include audio coaching.

Durability

Limited consumer reviews. Not many owners comment on the durability of the NordicTrack E 15.0, but we speculate that its frame must be solid based on its maximum user weight of 400 pounds. It's also backed by a lifetime warranty. According to a small number of user reviews at Sears.com of the NordicTrack E 12.0, the E 15.0's predecessor, it's "sturdy and built to last."

Customer Service

Buy from a trustworthy retailer. Again, feedback on customer service for the NordicTrack E 15.0 is scarce. The trainer comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, five years on parts and two years on labor. This is slightly above industry average, but owners of other NordicTrack products suggest its customer service department is unreliable and report difficulty even under warranty conditions. Consumers had better luck dealing with the retailer where they purchased the machine; Sears, for one, offers an extended warranty. One customer reports receiving the guaranteed repair months later and only after fighting with customer service agents who attempted to charge him for the technician's trip.

Our Sources

1. Fitness-Equipment-Source

Review Credibility: Very Good Fred Waters, a former fitness equipment company executive, offers a unique, knowledgeable perspective in his product reviews. After evaluating many elliptical trainers, he's impressed with the E 15.0's many features, particularly the iFit tablet, and names it a Best Buy.

Review: NordicTrack E 15.0 Elliptical Review, Fred Waters, September 2012

2. Treadmills411.com

Review Credibility: Good This site reviews treadmills and elliptical trainers from many different brands. This evaluation is neither extensive nor comparative, and it appears that Lao doesn't test the machine. However, the E 15.0 is ranked second out of 21 similarly priced elliptical trainers. Lao calls the machine excellent and gives it an overall score of 86.7 percent.

Review: NordicTrack E15.0 Elliptical, Gerard Lao, April 7, 2012

3. Sears.com

Review Credibility: Fair This Sears.com product page contains consumer reviews of the NordicTrack Elite 12.0. The reviews do not require any specific format. Therefore, the reviews are incomplete and not extensive nor comparative.

Review: NordicTrack Elite 12.0 Elliptical, Contributors to Sears.com, As of July 2012

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