ProForm SMART Performance 600i Review 2020

         Our Rating: 4.3/5

 

If you’re in search of a moderately-priced treadmill with advanced technology but without the added cost of unnecessary motor power for your intended use, the ProForm SMART Performance 600i treadmill will glitter as a wonderful buy for your home.

Throughout this review, we’ll compare this particular model to a few others in its segment, and elaborate on what makes it a sound option for walkers and joggers alike.

 

Build Quality

Selecting a treadmill within the ProForm Performance Series is a fitting choice for households who aren’t interested in marathon length treadmill workouts or consistently topping out at the max speed during their exercise. While built tough, the three differing treadmills within the Performance Series save you money with their lower motor horsepower, while still granting you exciting access to high-end technology.

If the ProForm 400i treadmill packs too little of a punch but the ProForm 800i treadmill is out of your price range, settle comfortably in the middle with the ProForm SMART Performance 600i treadmill.

If you enjoy walking and jogging, the 2.5 CHP3 MachZ Motor will certainly provide the steady rumble necessary to meet your activity desires. Having a heavy duty drive system motor like the one included with this treadmill is incredibly beneficial as it self-regulates when in use by actively cooling itself down. Not only is a drive system helpful when shifting speed and incline quickly, it also helps decrease treadmill sound, making it wonderfully conducive to a home setting.

It’s rare to find a digital incline control, which one of the features that makes the 600i treadmill smart, as with the push of a button, you’re able to boost your incline up to 10%. Created specifically for fast alterations, the 0-10 mph Digital QuickSpeed Control is a great asset to those looking to rapidly change their pace.

As you pace forward, the ProShox Cushioning located throughout the treadmill deck acts as a defense mechanism against joint deterioration, allowing you to move for longer. Adding to this, the 18” x 55” running surface grants you just the right amount of space necessary for basic workout activity. A huge spatial upgrade from the ProForm 400i treadmill’s small 18” x 50” running surface, you’ll definitely notice the additional five inches of length on the 600i.

As you soak up the longer treadmill runway, save on square footage by stashing the ProForm SMART Performance 600i upright as the SpaceSaver Design with EasyLift Assist takes simple storage to the next level. The ability to fold the lengthier deck up is a great asset not even available on pricier treadmills such as the Life Fitness T3. The ProForm SMART Performance 600i offers a weight limit of 300 pounds, which puts cheaper competing products, such as the LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill and its 200 pound weight limit, to shame.

 

Technology

ProForm was certainly insightful when they saw that there was a gap within home treadmills, which is what we’re assuming led to the Performance Series. While the three models within this category don’t offer high motor horsepower, they do provide access to technology previously found exclusively on higher-end treadmills with high horsepower motors.

The middle of the three Performance Series options, the SMART 600i treadmill, has a 3” larger touchscreen than the cheapest model, the 400i. This 10” Smart HD Touchscreen is well-sized for the console interface, and better submerges you within the live action programming granted through iFit.

iFit workout classes, which are also found on NordicTrack treadmills, are instructor-led workouts that heighten treadmill experience greatly. You can select a studio class setting, or our personal favorite, a global one, which takes you on jogs or walks around the world. For example, you can walk through a village in Spain, run along Italian beaches or stroll through a mountainside in Canada.

iFit provides a special opportunity to switch up your activity from traditional treadmill workouts. Included with purchase of the SMART Performance 600i treadmill is a 1-year membership to iFit, which allows endless access to various classes. That being said, after that first year there’s a monthly cost should you elect to continue your subscription. We appreciate how you can try it out for a whole year to gage whether or not you call upon it enough to make it worth adding into your monthly budget.

While iFit will eventually cost you more than it does upfront, what won’t cost you is accessibility to the stunning high definition touchscreen, which gives your workout statistics glam squad treatment in how vibrantly they appear.

Tracking your heart rate is the EKG Grip Pulse Heart Rate Sensor, which encourages you in detail to meet your fitness goals by keeping you up to date through your contact with the handlebars, where the sensors are located.

Workout motivation comes in many forms, but one commonly used by many is through the music that best reflects the headspace you want to get into in order to get moving. Furthermore, the dual 2” built-in speakers and auxiliary port allow you to synch your activity to your favorite beats.

If you’re into advanced technology, the ProForm SMART Performance 600i will certainly make you feel as if your treadmill is on the same playing field that the technology of today has us on. That being said, if a 7” touchscreen doesn’t dazzle you enough, looking into the top notch ProForm 800i treadmill will gift you four additional inches of display beauty to work with.

 

Price Point

As the smack dab in the middle option of the ProForm Performance Series, the 600i is a well-rounded, just right option if you’re in search of a 2.5 CHP motor to power your walks and jogs.

Should the ProForm SMART Performance 600i be stretching your wallet a little farther than you’re comfortable with, but the 2.5 hp motor power is what suits you best, we encourage you to look to the Horizon Fitness T101 treadmill as a cheaper alternative.

While you’ll be sacrificing greatly on live training and touchscreen technology, the T101 actually has a better warranty and 0.2” larger rollers. That being said, they both have 2.5 continuous duty motor horsepower, a 0-10 mph speed range, 0-10% incline, 18” x 55” running surfaces, and the same exact weight capacity.

In addition to the updated technology compared to the basic Horizon T101, the ProForm SMART Performance 600i treadmill also has a built-in cooling fan and while both treadmills fold, only the 600i has shocks that allow for easier lifting. Both treadmills have built in speakers, so you won’t have to sacrifice on sound fun regardless of which option you choose.

Overall, if you’re willing to pay the membership fee for the iFit programming once the 1-year free trial is up, the ProForm 600i is a greater buy for a variety of workouts, but if a simple, well-built treadmill without the bells and whistles is what you’re looking for, the Horizon T101 is solid competition to consider.

If you fancy iFit programming, the direct competitive option would be a NordicTrack treadmill, as if offers the same exact iFit experience. Interestingly, NordicTrack offers nearly the exact same treadmill as the ProForm 600i, but with 0.1 more CHP motor strength in the T 6.5 Si treadmill. When we way nearly the exact same, we’re talking same speed range, incline range, running surface, warranty, 10” HD touchscreen, folding ability, and dual 2” speakers. That being said, it doesn’t have a built-in fan like the 600i has.

However, what the NordicTrack T 6.5 Si has over the ProForm 600i is 0.3” larger treadmill rollers that prevents wear and tear, 20-on board workout programs, and a commercial-grade motor. All that to say, unless the ProForm SMART Performance 600i treadmill drops its pricing below the NordicTrack T 6.5 Si treadmill, we’d recommend checking out the NordicTrack T 6.5 Si, that is, if you’re willing to part with the built-in cooling fan.

 

Pros and Cons

While both the 400i and the 600i treadmill have the ability to fold up when not in use, only the 600i provides Easy Lift Assist, which grants far easier user lifting due to a strong shock.

Another benefit to the SMART Performance 600i treadmill that the 400i lacks is the CoolAire fan, which provides built-in cooling with two different settings to choose from.

A great alternative to paying the subscription fee for iFit programming should you opt out of it after the first free year is to stream treadmill workouts on your tablet. While these won’t be live and the instructors won’t have personal insight into your goals, nor can they remotely adjust speed and incline on your behalf, there are other ways to be led by a trainer should music entertainment not be enough.

The unique tablet holder allows you to place either your tablet, smartphone or even nook front and center so you’re able to access emails, read or even stream your favorite TV shows. Making this tablet holder standout from the competition is its intentional design that ensures your devices will stay put, regardless of how much you pick up the pace.

If 10” of stunning touchscreen isn’t enough for you to truly get lost in the streaming iFit program, the bump in price to the 800i treadmill might be worth it as it grants you a visibly stimulating 14” HD touchscreen to behold.

If you haven’t yet, read the Price Point section above to familiarize yourself with the fact that the NordicTrack 6.5 Si treadmill is almost identical to the 400i, but my be a better purchase, depending on what you value. One of the cons with both ProForm and NordicTrack alike is their lack of lifetime warranty on the treadmill frame, as well as absolutely no warranty on the motor, which is the most expensive part of a home treadmill should it need to be repaired or replaced over time due to heavy usage.

 

ProForm SMART Performance 600i Treadmill Specs

Weight Capacity300 pounds
Running Surface18″ x 55″
Dimensions69.8″ x 33.5″ x 56.42″
Workout DisplayYes; 10” Smart HD Touchscreen
Motor2.5 CHP
Speed0-10 mph
Incline10%
FoldingYes
Total ProgramsiFit Membership (1 year included)

 

Warranty and Guarantee

Unfortunately, ProForm does not offer any treadmill motor warranty, which is a bit of a bummer for those hoping to use their treadmill consistently throughout the years without worry of a potentially costly out of pocket repair over time. Other treadmill brands, such as Horizon and Sole, offer lifetime warranties on their motors, while LifeSpan and LifeFitness also offer lifetime warranties on select models, and if not lifetime, always provide at least some motor coverage.

Identical to NordicTrack is the 10-year frame warranty available on the ProForm SMART Performance 600i treadmill. Also identical is the 2-year parts warranty, which is actually a boost to other competing brands, who typically offer 1-year of parts coverage.

Meanwhile, the 1-year labor warranty is an industry standard found on most home treadmills these days. Despite not having super impressive warranty coverage, ProForm is a reputable brand with many users who have had no issue with their treadmills lasting throughout workouts and time.

 

Summing Up This Review

The ProForm SMART Performance 600i treadmill is a solid choice whether you are looking to jog, walk or occasionally run while enjoying traveling from the comfort of your home through an iFit membership.