Introducing the latest addition to the NordicTrack lineup—the EXP 10i treadmill. Designed as the replacement to the outgoing T 9.5 s. Price wise it’s coming in around $400 cheaper, and for the most part has equal and upgraded components. It’s not without its shortcomings, and there’s still a clear gap between it and the class-leading NordicTrack Commercial 1750, but given its affordable sticker price, it’s yet another strong contender for a spot in your home workout space.
First and foremost, the upgrades. New across the 2021 model range for Nordictrack we’re seeing new graphics processing and improved dual-band WiFi, which will ensure a clean, crisp, and stable streaming of iFit programming. It’s clear that NordicTrack is more and more focused on the streaming service side of things, with their training catalog continuing to expand on a daily/weekly basis. As it stands, there are over 17,000 different training sessions available to users through iFit.
On the actual equipment hardware side of things, we’re also seeing some improvement. Most notably, the updates to the incline/decline drivers make adjustments both quieter and faster than they were on previous models. When following along with any iFit training programs, incline and speed are automatically adjusted throughout the workout to follow the trainer’s instructions.
On the tech side of things, NordicTrack has also improved its Bluetooth capabilities for 2021, which means even the more entry-level EXP 10i is capable of pairing with bluetooth headphones. This might not seem like much, but being able to listen to your trainer from your iFit session via Bluetooth headphones rather than using the 2-inch speakers that are built into the machine is a nice upgrade, and not one that you’ll find on a lot of equipment on the market currently.
Pros & Cons
- Crisp 10-inch HD touchscreen display
- Smart-Response drive system
- Good size 20″x60″ running deck
- Expanded Bluetooth capabilities
- 300 lb weight capacity
- Adjustable cushioning to running deck
- 1-year iFit Family membership included in purchase price
- No Bluetooth/wireless heart rate monitoring
- Max incline only 12% (15 is standard)
- Relatively short warranty period
The competitive pool of treadmills fighting for your heard earned dollar in the $1,500 to $2,000 range keeps growing, but given NordicTrack’s longstanding position in the market there’s little surprise that the new model remains quite competitive. While not perfect, it’s still a top contender, whose biggest competition comes from the Horizon 7.4 AT, which doesn’t have a built-in screen, but rather wins points for being able to connect to a wider range of fitness training apps. The Horizon also wins out for those more interested in high-intensity interval training, as it has the quickest-adjusting motors and drivers in the industry that are controlled by a pair of roller triggers. Given its specification, the NordicTrack EXP 10i is still more of an entry to intermediate level unit, so seasoned runners will want to step up to something a little higher end.
This is a category where NordicTrack is still a class leader. Having jumped on the Peloton model with their interactive live and on-demand training programming, the iFit library is one of the most extensive in the category. Instructor led runs of all shapes and sizes are on offer, including workouts where you follow a trainer along streets and trails from around the globe. Beyond that, a healthy volume of programming for strength training, cross training, yoga, stretching, and other categories are on offer, but to make use of those, you’ll have to stream from your own tablet or Smart TV. The compact 10-inch screen just isn’t big enough to watch for an off-treadmill workout.
As noted above, the NordicTrack EXP 10i ticks just enough of the right boxes for the price point in terms of features and functions. Its running deck is 22 inches wide by 60 long, which is a hair above standard; the added length is a nice plus for taller runners/those with a longer stride. The console has both a built-in fan as well as a pair of speakers that deliver a reasonable sound output for its streaming programming. Another key plus is its adjustable FlexSelect deck cushioning system. While those used to running on the street will appreciate being able to firm up the deck for an experience akin to running on pavement, those who are more focused on rehab (or who generally have issues with joint pain/stiffness) will enjoy being able to soften the deck a little bit. Interestingly, NordicTrack decided to limit the maximum incline on this treadmill to 12% rather than the more standard 15%, however in trade it’s one of few units capable of a small decline setting (to -3%). As a general rule, steeper incline means more calorie burn, but having the decline option makes things interesting when following real-world runs with downhill sections. Consider this more of a user engagement feature rather than one that will improve your workout performance.
Warranty & Guarantee
The NordicTrack EXP 10i treadmill warranty includes:
– Frame: 10 years
– Motor: 2 Years
– Parts & Electronics: 2 Years
– Labor: 1 year
The Nordictrack EXP 10i is just the evolution that the T-Series treadmills needed to stay competitive—reasonable specs, a and a more competitive price without sacrificing the standard NordicTrack features we all know and love. The real decision at hand is whether or not you’re committed to the NordicTrack iFit video training model. If this feature is a big seller for you, you’re in good hands. If you just want to hop on and run, we’d consider looking at other entrants in the category.