0

The ProForm Carbon T7 Treadmill – Affordable Streaming At Its Finest [A Review]

proform carbon t7 treadmill review

If you’re looking for an affordable streaming treadmill, ProForm’s Carbon T7 should be on your short list.

Not only is the T7 equipped with a 7″ HD touchscreen console, something quite rare for a treadmill costing under $1000, but it’s also packing some solid performance specs for such an affordable machine.

Like a 20″ x 55″ running surface, a 2.6 CHP motor, and a solid home warranty.

Long-story-short: if you’re looking for a treadmill with a built-in screen for viewing instructor-led workouts, the Carbon T7 is easily the best option in this price range.

If you’re interested in the longer story, keep reading.

In this review, I’ll go over everything the Carbon T7 does and doesn’t have going for it. We’re talking specs, features, warranty, and pretty much everything else in between.

I’ll also try to compare it to some of the other top options in this price range to see how it stacks up.

After reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right treadmill for your home gym.

The ProForm Carbon T7 Treadmill

ProForm is owned by the same parent company that owns NordicTrack- ICON Health & Fitness. They own a few other less well-known brands too.

ProForm and NordicTrack are similar in that they’re all designed to pair with iFit (also owned by ICON), but generally speaking, ProForm machines aren’t quite as high-end and they tend to be significantly more affordable.

When it comes to treadmills, ProForm has 5 available in their current lineup.

Of those 5, 4 come with built-in HD touchscreen consoles- I think it’s safe to say they’re pushing iFit pretty hard.

Which is cool- iFit’s a legit streaming app and a lot of people love it.

Plus, I also think it’s safe to say that the whole streaming thing isn’t a fad; love it or hate, it’s here to stay.

Anyway, back to treadmills.

The Carbon T7 is 1 of 2 treadmills in their mid-range “Carbon” series, the other model being the slightly upgraded Carbon T10.

The T7 comes with a full retail price of around $999 through ProForm, but it’s usually a couple hundred bucks cheaper through Amazon (although prices and sales do vary).

I want to start this review by going over the key performance specs and then we’ll move on to the tech features.

Let’s do this.

Pros

  • 7″ HD touchscreen console
  • iFit compatible
  • Watch instructor-led workouts through console (iFit)
  • Access to scenic routes (iFit)
  • Automatic trainer control function (iFit)
  • Bluetooth compatible with headphones and heart rate monitors
  • Folding frame
  • Quick touch speed/incline buttons
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • Decent motor strength for price
  • Solid warranty
  • Great price

Cons

  • Might be a bit small for taller runners
  • Not strong enough for serious runners
  • iFit membership kind of expensive

Running Surface

The running surface is always the first spec I check out when researching a new treadmill.

This spec simply states the size of the belt, measured in inches, but it really tells us how comfortable your workouts are going to be.

If the running surface is too small, you’re going to feel it.

Honestly, a small running surface is one of the most obvious signs of a cheap treadmill and one of the biggest reasons a lot of cheap treadmills feel “cheap”.

Not only can a small running surface force you to shorten your stride, but it can also make you feel like you’re walking on a tightrope.

Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I think you get what I mean.

The T7 comes with a running surface that measures 20″ x 55″.

This is a bit shorter than the gold standard of 20″ x 60″ we see on most high-quality home treadmills, but it’s not bad for an $800 treadmill.

The 20″ width is fine, but taller folks (over 6′ 1″) might have to shorten their stride a little if running at higher speeds. Shorter individuals likely won’t notice.

So, I actually think the running surface on the T7 is respectable for the price range.

I also want to mention that this treadmill comes with an in box weight of 223 lb.

I’m not exactly sure how that equates to an assembled weight, but if we subtract 40-50 lb for packaging, I’m guessing the T7 weighs somewhere around 180 lb or so assembled.

This is pretty lightweight compared to higher-end, more expensive treadmills (my Horizon 7.8 AT weighs nearly double this) but again, for this price range it’s not bad.

For the sake of comparison, there are plenty of treadmills in the $600 – $800 range that weigh about 100 lb.

I like the idea of having a heavier treadmill because it makes for a more stable surface to walk/run on- you know, it’s less likely to shake or feel wobbly.

The frame on the T7 is heavy-duty compared to many of the other treadmills in this price range.

The T7 also comes with a 300 lb weight capacity, which again, is better than many in its class.

Overall, I’m impressed by the running surface and the heavy-dutiness of the T7’s frame. It’s specs are more impressive than most comparably priced treadmills.

P.S.- I’m using the T7’s sale price on Amazon when I’m making comparisons, which I think is a much better price for this treadmill

Motor

Ok, I know talking about running surfaces isn’t the most exciting topic in the world, but now we’re getting to the good stuff: motor strength.

The strength of a treadmill’s motor is an important thing to consider because the motor is the treadmill’s heart- it’s responsible for powering every workout you’ll ever do.

Having a strong motor is a good thing because it’ll make for a smoother feel during your workouts, especially if you plan on running on the reg.

The stronger a motor is, the less it has to work, which not only makes for a smoother feel, but it should also technically prolong the life of the motor too.

Most quality home treadmills come with a motor somewhere in the 3.0 – 4.0 HP range, but more affordable models will often come with motors in the 2.0 – 3.0 HP range.

If you’re a serious runner, it’s a good idea to go with a motor that’s as least 3.0 HP to make sure your motor can keep up with ya.

With all of this in mind, the Carbon T7 comes with a 2.6 HP motor.

So, this is obviously weak compared to the elite running treadmills that are packing 4.0+ HP motors, but for a model well under $1000 it’s not bad.

That said, it is under 3.0 HP, so if you do plan on running often or at faster speeds, it might be a good idea to look for a treadmill with more muscle under the hood.

The T7 can reach a top speed of 10 mph as well as a top incline of 10%.

This is below the 12 mph top speed and 12-15% incline many more expensive treadmills can offer, but there are reasons why budget treadmills are budget to begin with.

The last thing I want to mention here are the rollers.

A treadmill’s rollers are the parts that allow the belt to glide over the deck. Having large rollers is beneficial because they make more surface contact with the belt as they spin.

This not only makes for a smoother feel, but it also prolongs the life of the belt, the rollers, and even the motor to a certain degree.

Most high-end home treadmills have rollers in the 2.5 – 3″ range; most budget-friendly treadmills have 1.9″ rollers.

The T7 comes with 1.9″ rollers.

So, this treadmill comes with smaller rollers, but that’s to be expected considering it’s coming with a smaller deck and weaker motor.

Overall, I actually think the motor on this treadmill is pretty good for the price range (I’ve come across plenty of cheaper treadmills in this same price range that are packing weaker motors).

Features

The ProForm Carbon T7 comes with the following features:

7″ HD touchscreen console- the HD touchscreen display is the star of the show here, no doubt about it. Through this console, you can watch instructor-led workouts via iFit, as well as easily track all your metrics. 7″ is small in the world of HD displays, but I can’t think of any other treadmills in this price range with an HD console at all.

iFit compatible- that HD screen is designed specifically for watching iFit workouts. iFit is ProForm’s streaming service and it gives you access to unlimited workouts, scenic routes, metric tracking, etc. I think it costs $39/month, but you can get it a little cheaper by purchasing an annual membership. ProForm includes a 30 day trial with purchase of this machine.

Automatic trainer control- through iFit, you can take advantage of the automatic trainer control feature that allows the instructors to control the speed/incline of your treadmill during workouts. This means you don’t have to mess with the controls if you don’t want to (you can always override and manually adjust as well).

Bluetooth- the T7 is compatible with bluetooth headphones and bluetooth heart rate monitors.

Quick touch buttons- you can instantly set the speed and/or incline with the push of one of these preset buttons.

Cooling fan- there’s a built-in fan to help keep ya comfortable during your workouts.

Speakers- you can plug your mp3 player (is that still a thing?) into the audio port and listen to your workout jams through the built-in speakers.

Folding frame- I forgot to mention this earlier, but the T7 is a folding treadmill, so you can easily fold the deck vertically when not in use.

Assembly

If you do purchase this treadmill, don’t worry- assembly shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

The main deck comes preassembled, so you won’t have to worry about messing with anything internal.

You’ll only be responsible for attaching the 2 uprights, connecting the handles, and hooking the console up to it.

There are also a few covers that need to be attached, as well as the hydraulic lift mechanism under the deck.

The trickiest part will likely be when you snake the console wires up the upright and hook ’em up to the console- it’s a good idea to have a second person around for this step, it makes it a lot easier.

All the necessary hardware and tools required are included.

And since this treadmill isn’t that heavy (comparatively speaking anyway), moving it shouldn’t be that tough.

Overall, assembly on the T7 should be very straightforward.

Warranty

ProForm covers the Carbon T7 Treadmill with the following residential warranty:

  • 10 year frame
  • 1 year parts
  • 1 year labor

I know I keep bringing up the price range the T7 falls in, but I think it’s only fair to compare it to other similarly priced treadmills.

And when you compare this warranty to other $800 machines, it holds up really well.

I think 10 years on the frame for a machine in this price range is great. Hell, plenty of treadmills that cost 2x this much don’t offer longer.

A year on parts is short when compared to $2000 treadmills, but again, for the price range, not bad.

A year on labor is pretty standard across the board regardless of price.

Overall, I think this is a pretty generous warranty for the T7.

Final Thoughts

Ok, that’s about all I got for this treadmill.

I think it’s fair to say the nicest feature on the T7 is that HD touchscreen display.

In terms of performance, there are definitely better treadmills out there for under $1000… but they don’t come with HD screens.

Considering the smaller running surface and weaker motor, this treadmill is better suited for smaller walkers and joggers than taller runners.

But to be fair, I would say the T7 is on the larger side when compared to other treadmills in this price range.

I’m also impressed with ProForm’s warranty- I think it’s more than fair.

Honestly, there aren’t that many streaming treadmills in this price range to choose from – NordicTrack offers a similar treadmill with their Exp 7i; it too comes with a 7″ screen and it’s a little bigger and stronger, but it’s also a couple hundred bucks more.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable treadmill that comes with built-in streaming options, I think the T7 is the best in its class. Recommended.

Will

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *