Our Rating: 4.1/5
The cheapest of ProForm’s treadmill lineup, the SMART Performance 400i is an excellent choice for tech-savvy walkers. If you want ProForm technology but are instead looking to run, we’d recommend checking out some of the other options their lineup offers.
That being said, if walking is indeed your preferred form of exercise, continue to the below review!
When pondering whether or not you should purchase a treadmill, you often have to consider where you would put it, and if this big operational machine would flow within the space of your home’s footprint. If you find yourself weary on whether or not a treadmill purchase is worth the sacrifice of floor space, the ProForm SMART Performance 400i could be a great option for you.
With a sleek 18” x 50” walking surface, the 400i treadmill deck is mindfully smaller than average treadmills, which typically start at a 20” x 55” tread belt. Not only are you saving on floor space while the treadmill is being used, it’s SpaceSaver Design Folding Deck allows you to store the treadmill deck upright post-sweat.
Bringing you sufficient power to walk it out is the 2.0 CHP3 Mach Z™. While not enough power for running, you might get away with doing so with this model if you were a one person household running for small increments. Despite average horsepower, a larger motor size equips the ProForm 400i treadmill with a 0-10 mph speed range.
Speaking directly to the SMART labeling of the Performance 400i treadmill are the digital QuickSpeed buttons, which enable fast alterations in your speed. Additionally, the SMART Quick Incline Control allows you to seamlessly guide through the 0-10% incline range due to it’s similar digital controlling. Setting the ProForm 400i treadmill ahead of the competitive pack is it’s home efficiency booster, which thoughtfully keeps extra cash in your wallet by minimizing electricity usage.
Additionally, delivering comfort to your stride is the ProShox Cushioning that is spread throughout the deck that offers a glide-like feeling to soften the blow of pounding the proverbial pavement. This cushioning works to not only bring instant satisfaction, but also helps reduce recovery time due to the way it releases tension from your joints caused by exercise strain. Meanwhile, making your ride more cozy for the motor itself are the 1.6” Precision-Balanced rollers that keep the treadmill engine cool as it reduces motor strain. These rollers are what keep the 400i quiet enough to be within a home environment, and also steady the treadmill belt in order to increase grip.
Verifying the 400i treadmill’s durability is the way ProForm tests each belt for one million cycles with doubled weight before bringing it to market. Such testing is rare to find within the industry, and certainly an advantage over other competitive fitness brands.
Affirming the sturdy build all the more is the 300 pound weight capacity. Considering the SMART Performance 400i treadmill is the cheapest of the ProForm treadmill lineup, it’s very common to find these treadmills equipped lower weight capacity to compensate for cheaper pricing. As an example, the LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill is the same price, yet offers a deflated 200 pound weight limit, making it far more exclusive to it’s range of users than the more inclusive ProForm SMART Performance 400i Treadmill.
With thoughtful SMART technology at a low cost, the ProForm Performance 400i is a trustworthy treadmill choice.
One of the greatest features the 400i has going for it is the beautiful technology available at such an affordable cost. A 7” high definition touchscreen grants access to swiping and quality streaming workouts that those with traditional treadmills have to use separate TVs for.
Mimicking the fun of a smartphone, the touchscreen design allows you to swipe through the different workouts provided through the iFit programming. This advanced live programming, also offered on NordicTrack treadmills, will turn your exercise into an experience as it has the ability to take you on a journey throughout the world, changing scenic location settings with each workout you choose.
Calling upon the insight of professional trainers, the limitless number of differing classes available to select makes the SMART Performance 400i treadmill the greatest fit for those who struggle with the monotony daily exercise can bring. The iFit programming has been designed to give trainers the ability to automatically adjust the speed and incline of your treadmill during an active workout, so all you have to do is get on and go. With this functionality, you wont have to worry about matching speeds or inclines while trying to keep up, meaning you can be free to try new workouts without added stress.
Furthermore, you can track your heart rate with the EKG Grip Pulse Heart Rate Sensors, which have been built into each handlebar for careful activity readings. While the beneficial iFit programming has been made available for a year cost-free, once the first year is up, there is a monthly membership fee in order to maintain access. Should endless studio and world traveled classes not be your thing, you can call upon your smart device for personal entertainment as the convenient tablet holder was made with DeVice Grip to keep your kindle, tablet or phone steady and standing at attention throughout your calorie burn.
Unlike other lower-budget treadmills such as the Horizon T101 Treadmill, the ProForm SMART Performance 400i Treadmill will not have you sacrificing on technology for the sake of saving a buck.
Making the ProForm SMART Performance 400i a smart purchase (see what we did there) is the opportunity to have the highest quality technology sans the high cost. The HD touchscreen, while small at 7” is incredible when compared to traditional treadmills such as the high priced Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill.
Granted, the Life Fitness F3 does have 1.0 more horsepower than the ProForm 400i, but none of the technological potential despite it being over triple—yes, we said triple—the price. So, if technology is your end game and you have a tight budget, you will not find a better option available than the ProForm SMART Performance 400i Treadmill.
There is a caveat though, my friends. If shiny technology is calling your name, be prepared for the cost technology seems to always entail, this time in the form of a monthly iFit membership fee once the year trial included with purchase has run its course. Setting ProForm apart from the similarly made NordicTrack is the ability to cancel iFit whenever it’s best for you, as the ProForm 400i treadmill is billed monthly rather than yearly such as the Nordic Track T 6.5 Si is, which is their cheapest available treadmill.
If interested in the somewhat comparable NordicTrack T 6.5 Si, it will get you 0.6 more motor hp, 0.3” larger rollers and a 3” bigger touchscreen, but will set you back a couple hundred dollars more. If you’re pro ProForm, the SMART Performance 400i treadmill is your best financial bet when it comes to low cost.
Pros and Cons
While ProForm touts the SMART Performance 400i treadmill as having the ability to go for endless miles due to it’s 2.0 CHP3 Mach Z™ motor, we’d like to provide more clarity and finish their statement by saying miles and miles of walking. A meager 2.0 continuous horsepower motor unfortunately won’t meet your needs if you’re a runner, let alone a runner who enjoys pushing yourself to marathon miles.
However, the drive motor design verifies the 2.0 CHP3 motor was crafted with trusted toughness. If ProForm boosted motor power is what you’re in search of, increasing your budget and opting for the ProForm SMART Pro 2000 will get you a 3.5 CHP3 Commercial Grade motor much more suitable for longer runs.
Thankfully, this model has been equipped with dual two-inch speakers, which makes listening to your entertainment of choice a breeze.
If the iFit programming appeals to you, it can be a worthy investment considering it also provides nutrition guidance as well as cross-training classes so you can pick up those dusty dumbbells and get to work. However, if iFit isn’t within your budget, we probably wouldn’t recommend the SMART Performance 400i as it has low warranty coverage, low horsepower and no preloaded workouts to fall back on.
If you’re not into all of the bells and whistles of a technology-advanced treadmill but still have the same budget, the Sole F63 treadmill is probably a better long-term buy. The ProForm SMART Performance 400i Treadmill is a good fit for walkers who love dazzling technology at a low cost.
ProForm SMART Performance 400i Treadmill Specs
|Weight Capacity||300 pounds|
|Running Surface||18″ x 50″|
|Dimensions||65.77″ x 32.75″ x 56.42″|
|Workout Display||Yes; 7” Smart HD Touchscreen|
|Total Programs||iFit Membership (1 year included)|
Warranty and Guarantee
Seeing the warranties available on competing brands such as Horizon, Sole, and Life Fitness has made us weary of the less than stellar coverage provided on the ProForm SMART Performance 400i Treadmill. The lack of motor coverage is disappointing when seeing that the previously listed brands often provide lifetime protection of their treadmill motors, as well as lifetime coverage on their treadmill frames.
That being said, ProForm provides 10-years of frame protection on the SMART Performance 400i. Furthermore, where the ProForm SMART Performance 400i Treadmill finds a more equal playing field is the 2-years parts coverage as well as the 1-year labor coverage. Actually, the 2-years parts coverage is considerably impressive, as other brands typically only offer 1-year. There’s definitely a silver lining to be found within the warranty coverage of the ProForm SMART Performance 400i Treadmill.
Summing Up This Review
If you’re a walker who needs to save on floorspace but wants the capability of accessing diverse worldwide workout classes, the ProForm SMART Performance 400i Treadmill is a trusted treadmill pick for best bang for your technology buck!