NordicTrack has positioned themselves quite well in the fitness space over the years, but the more we look at the Commercial X15i treadmill, the more we feel they deserve a significant nod for this one. The X series is the brand’s “incline trainer” treadmills, and the range runs from the X11i up to the top tier X32i, with the number denoting the size of its touchscreen (though in this case the X15i has a 14″ screen). Its sole significant shortcoming is the lack of built-in TV, but given what this treadmill delivers at a fraction of the cost of many others in the commercial space that is a sacrifice many should be willing to consider. Previous versions of the X15i included a top-mounted TV screen above the main console (for a fairly significant increase in cost), but with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, the brand decided to delete this feature in favor of built-in interactive training functionality and a lower sticker price.
Rating: 90/100. While there is a lot to love about the NordicTrack Commercial X15i Incline Trainer, it’s worth noting that we found some inconsistencies when researching this model compared to its competition (as well as to its siblings in the “X” model range). Though the Commercial X11i treadmill is meant to be the more entry-level model, it actually beats out its bigger brother in a few categories. The smaller X11i uses a motor that delivers 0.25 more constant-duty horsepower, it is rated for users up to 350 lbs instead of only 300, it has a top-mount tablet holder that the X15 does not, and most importantly it has a better warranty. With the X11i you get 6 years on its parts/electronics and 3 on labor, whereas the X15i is cut to 5 years and 2 years respectively. Now in trade you do get a larger 14-inch display on the X15i, but I would think long and hard about these differences before pulling the trigger.
Shortcomings aside, the X15i was developed with the serious runner/fitness enthusiast in mind and its execution is still impressive. Being an incline treadmill, it can run at a dramatic 40% incline down to a 6% decline driven by its commercial grade electric motor. It also has a variable cushioning system, so that runners can alternate between low impact and real road simulation as they see fit.
There’s a lot more to take in, so here’s what you need to know.
- Live interactive training sessions with iFit (1-year membership included)
- 50 On-board video workouts
- Overall value for money
- Live sessions include speed and incline control from trainer
- Google-mapped video runs (with iFit)
- New daily workouts (with iFit)
- 14″ intuitive HD touchscreen display
- Reflex cushioning/variable damping of running mat
- Built-in 3″ speakers
- Bluetooth audio connection
- Dual automatically regulated cooling fans
- Lifetime warranty on frame
- Lifetime warranty on motor
- 5-year warranty on parts and electronics
- 2-year warranty on labor
- Compact footprint (compared to non incline trainers)
- In-home repair/servicing by NordicTrack certified technicians
- Lack of on-board TV
- Monthly membership after 1st year ($33/month family or $15/month individual)
- Screen does not tilt or swivel
- Certain specs/details are lesser than more affordable X11i model
Though a healthy number of steps above “entry-level”, the NordicTrack X15i is still quite approachable in terms of pricing, and delivers a level of features that rival top-tier treadmills that are selling for thousands more. Though its full retail price is $3,499, the X15i can usually be found online for between $2,500 and $3,000, which is more than fair. These incline trainers are the perfect companion for those really looking to push their routines, as the level of available incline and decline can make for a very aggressive training regiment at the push of a button. In this price range you’re getting a high level of manufacturing quality—a sturdy steel frame, a high spec self cooling 4 continuous-duty horsepower (CHP) motor, and a healthy warranty on its frame, components, electronics, and labor.
At first glance, figuring out how many workout programs are built into the X15i is a bit confusing. On one corner of the NordicTrack page you’ll see 16,000+ on demand workouts, whereas further down the page in the specs you’ll read 50 on-board workout programs. This differing information all comes back to iFit—NordicTrack’s interactive training/coaching program. Those 16,000+ workouts stream to the treadmill from iFit, but should you choose to not renew after your first included year, the treadmill will still have the 50 built-in programs.
As cool as the ever-changing program cycle can be, every runner is different. If you enjoy variety, and being able to change things up whenever you see fit, maintaining iFit is a no-brainer. The trainers are skilled and engaging, and the ability for them to control the incline and speed of this trainer is a big plus. If you are very much routine-focused, the added subscription ($33/month family or $15/month individual) is likely to be less of a priority. Sadly the access to Google mapped running programs is also an iFit connected feature, so that is another feature that will go away should you choose to opt out.
NordicTrack Commercial X15i Features
As we’ve already mentioned, a big feature of the X-series commercial treadmills is its capability to deliver steep platform inclines, but that’s not the only trick it has up its sleeve. Another big win for the X15i and its siblings is the adjustable firmness of its running surface. Officially dubbed “Reflex Cushioning”, the track of the X15i can be softened to reduce impact, or firmed up to replicate a feel closer to running on an actual road. This variability means that runners with joint/injury/rehab issues can train on these models just as well as well as hardcore fitness enthusiasts at the peak of their game.
The X15i’s 14-inch HD touchscreen display provides ample real estate upon which to view all of its included training sessions with ease, and rows of simple controls down each side of the screen give users quick access to speed and incline settings on the fly. One of its shortcomings, albeit one that applies to most treadmills across the board is the fact that you cannot adjust the position of its screen. When you’re taking part in a conventional running workout that detail isn’t really relevant, however there are several workouts in iFit that are cross training programs that roll in yoga and other full-body workouts requiring you to leave your treadmill, and depending on where you position it in the room, having an open space nearby within line of sight could prove challenging.
Warranty & Guarantee
- Lifetime frame and motor warranty
- 5-year parts and electronics warranty
- 2-year labor warranty
Other than a few minor gripes, there’s a lot to love about the X-series of treadmills. Realistically the bigger question becomes whether or not the hardcore incline is something you will use and can justify the extra cost on. If not, stepping down to something like the NordicTrack 1750 might make more sense, but if you’re looking to push your training routine to new heights, this is an option we can totally get behind.