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NordicTrack RW700 Rowing Machine Review

Quick Take

Home rowing machines continue to advance in terms of technology and performance, and the NordicTrack team has two new models for the market, with the RW600 as the entry-level, the RW700 as the midpoint, and the RW900 as the top-line. Serving as 2021 replacements for the RW500 and subsequent models, the new rowers bring the same iFit-enabled package but with some new features included.

The RW700 comes in at $1,299, with the option to finance over three years, as well as one year of the iFit Family Membership, valued at $468, included in the offer. Whereas earlier models came with either a tablet or built-in holder for one, the RW700 is affixed with a 14-inch rotating Smart HD Touchscreen. The adjustable screen makes for a nice touch for fitness fans who like to mix up their rowing with yoga or other floor exercises. Because the RW700 is clearly intended to be use with interactive workout programs like iFit, it’s worth noting how valuable the rotating screen can be. The 14-inch screen is also a big benefit here when down on the floor, off to the side of the rower. Smaller fixed screens, such as on the RW600, can be a bit problematic in that regard.

In terms of the machine itself, users can utilize up to 26 levels of burn by way of both Silent Magnetic Resistance and adjustable air.

For those unfamiliar with rowing as an exercise form, consider that studies affirm its value. One Harvard Medical School study published in Harvard Health Publishing reports that a 30-minute session of stationary rowing can burn up to 210 calories in a 125-pound person, 252 calories in a 155-pound person, and 294 calories in a 185-pound individual. But it’s not just for cardio. The fact is, rowing offers a total-body workout that incorporates every single muscle group from traps to toes. Whether for strength or weight-loss, rowing is tough to beat.

And that’s why rowers make such a great addition to the home gym. When shopping around, check out the top rated rowers which offer a variety of resistance forms, sizes, and performance options. With that in mind, read below to see how the NordicTrack RW700 ranks.

 

 

Pros

14" Smart HD Touchscreen
Both Silent Magnetic Resistance and Air

Cons

A little pricier than peers
No wireless heart-rate monitor included

Our Review

As NordicTrack’s midpoint rowing machine, the RW700 is priced at $1,299, which comes with a 1-year Family Membership in iFit Coach included. As part of what seems to be a growing trend here, this model lacks the built-in workout programs of past products and relies exclusively on the iFit program, or expects users to simply utilize their own apps.

Measuring 87 x 22 x 47 inches, the RW700 is the same size as the RW600 and weighs about 117 pounds. Be sure to measure the space available in whatever home gym the rower will be going, as size obviously matters where space is concerned. The rower is engineered with front-mounted transport wheels as well as foldable SpaceSaver® Design. Another point to consider is the maximum user weight of 250 pounds, which is a bit lighter than competing models which go well into the 300s.

If comparing NordicTrack models, the fact is that the biggest difference between the RW600 and RW700 is the screen display. The entry-level unit comes with a 10-inch Smart HD Touchscreen at $999, whereas the RW700 features a rotating 14-inch screen at $1,299, and the RW900 brings a 22-inch screen at $1,599. The screen size, and whether it can rotate or not, is a key consideration for those fitness fans of floor-work such as yoga. A smaller, fixed screen, just isn’t the same in terms of being able to see and keep up. That said, if floor-work isn’t a big concern, then other people might consider the extra cost to be unnecessary. Considering all three offer the same 26 levels of resistance, the decision really comes down to how much one wants to pay for the bigger screen display.

With the rotating console, the rower also has an auxiliary audio port with two, 2-inch digitally amplified speakers. Bluetooth Audio capabilities include wireless headphone connectivity, whether to be used for music from a personal device, an app, or the iFit Coach program. While lacking built-in programs, the RW600 is built iFit-enabled and ready to go. The iFit workout package offers live-streamed workouts as well as trainer-controlled options, meaning professional trainers in remote locations can control the resistance of the machine during the group, or solo, workout.

With virtually unlimited workout variety, iFit provides a variety of professional trainers specializing in any form of exercise from HIIT to yoga. On-demand rowing is also available via a constantly expanding library of streaming workouts, as well as new programs and routes added daily. These workouts can be generic or tailored to the user. The iFit Family Membership comes with up to four user profiles, each of which can be suited to the size, needs, and goals of the individual. Personalized coaching includes lifestyle guidance, such as nutrition and sleep.

Made for rowers who want to row, the RW700 offers 26 levels of digitally controlled Silent Magnetic Resistance, as well as adjustable air, a unique combo which lets users better personalize the intensity level via the inertia-enhanced flywheel. Engineering-wise, the unit comes with an oversized steel seat rail, ergonomic seat, and oversized, pivoting pedals. Adjustable nylon foot straps and a SoftTouch™ Ergonomic Handle put the finishing touches on the machine in terms of user comfort.

As with most of the NordicTrack line-up, the RW700 comes with a 10-year frame warranty, with two years for parts, and one year for labor. This compares very nicely with rival brands, whose warranties range anywhere from one year to the lifetime of the machine.

Positives:

Here are some features that make the RW700 Rowing Machine attractive.

  • Interactive Screen: 14-inch, rotating Smart HD Touchscreen
  • A 1-year iFit Family Membership: Valued at $486, this makes the price nicer yet, and iFit subscription rates are comparable to other apps.
  • Easy Folding: With a great spacer saver design, the rower folds up and stores without hassle.
  • Both Magnetic and Air Resistance: This is typically and Either-Or situation, and the fact that the RW700 offers both is significant.
  • 26 Levels of Digital Resistance: Certainly enough for most rowers, the RW700’s resistance levels afford a solid burn for just about anyone in the market.
  • Great financing deal: Offered at $1,299 with an included year of the iFit Family Membership plan, the model is also offered at 36 months 0% APR.
  • Easy to Store: The RW700 easily divides into two sections for storage.
  • Transport Wheels: The rower features wheels attached for added mobility.
  • Good Warranty:  NordicTrack is offering a 10-year warranty on the frame, two-year on parts, and one-year for labor.
  • Ergonomic Handle: The RW700 ergonomic rowing handle supports a natural rowing position.

Negatives:

  • No Wireless Heart Rate monitor: The iFit package does avail one to heart rate monitoring, but the user will have get that separately.
  • Max Weight Capacity: The 250-pound weight capacity is a bit light relative to peers.

 

 

 

Our Conclusion

The NordictTrack RW700 is a solid midpoint rower with good engineering and technology. The only real difference between the NordicTrack rowers this season is the screen size, and so shoppers will ultimately consider that as the big decision point. Meanwhile, the rower offers a good 26 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance, the unique combination of adjustable air brings a novel add-on. Customers should also check out the RW900, which is the NordicTrack family’s next in-line rower.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the assembled dimensions of the RW700?
A: The rowing machine measures 87" x 22.0" x 47" and weighs about 117 pounds.
Q: How many workout programs does the NordicTrack RW600 have?
A: The RW700 is iFit-enabled and doesn't come with additional built-in programs.
Q: Is rowing better for warm-up or cool-down?
A: The great thing about rowing is it can be for either, both, or serve as its own workout program.

Rating: 75%

Resistance Type

Magnetic

Resistance Level

26

Bluetooth

Yes

Dimensions (inches)

87" L x 22" W x 47" H

Folding

Yes

Maximum User Weight Capacity

250 lbs

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