★★★★☆

Introduced for 2011, the Pro Series treadmills showcase the ProForm brand’s most advanced technology. The new series includes two space-saving models, the ProForm Pro 2500 and the Pro 4500. Each has a full-color touch screen, an incline and a decline, and iFit Live in addition to 30 built-in workout apps.

How do the 2500 and the 4500 differ? The Pro 4500 tacks on a web browser and can accommodate heavier users, but it costs almost twice as much as the Pro 2500 model described below. Both treadmills are recommended buys in their respective price categories.

What We Like

  • Space-saving design: This unit can be folded vertically to free up floor space – and unlike folding treadmills from some other brands, it maintains stability even when used by heavier trainees.
  • Display: The Pro 2500’s 7” full-color touch screen is an eye-catcher and helps lend this treadmill an especially modern look. It makes it easy to choose among the 30 preset programs and interact with iFit Live. (Note: A 10” touchscreen, which is nearly the largest in the industry, is included on the Pro 4500.)
  • Program variety: Thirty built-in workouts include high intensity, speed, incline, and calorie-burn programs. Combined with a 15% incline and speed options from 1-12 mph, these workouts alone offer the right challenge levels for everything from gentle rehab to intense marathon training. The crown on this machine, though, is its built-in iFit Live. This technology, which requires a wireless Internet connection, lets treadmill users run along Google Maps tracks, get virtual personal training, race against friends, and easily track progress.
  • iPod port: The Pro 2500’s iPod-compatible port and speakers make it easy to exercise to favorite tunes and podcasts.
  • Track: The Pro 2500 Treadmill’s two-ply track measures 60” long x 20” wide. This is among the better track sizes in the treadmill industry; it can accommodate all but the largest runners.
  • Incline/decline: Incline options from -3% to 15% help simulate outdoor running conditions and challenge different muscles fibers. The incline and speed can easily be changed through ProForm’s One-Touch buttons.
  • Motor: The ProForm PRO 2500 Treadmill is powered by an impressive 3.5 CHP commercial motor. The motor is guaranteed for life and supports treadmill use by individuals weighing up to 375 pounds.
  • Warranty: ProForm offers better-than-average consumer protections with a lifetime warranty on this unit’s frame and motor, five years on other parts, and two years of service.

What We Don’t Like

  • Tread belt: If hard-pressed to criticize this machine, a finicky reviewer could point out that the belt is 2-ply. While it will far outlast a single-ply belt, it will eventually need to be replaced. The tread belt is guaranteed for five years.
  • Belt length: The 60” track, although relatively long, is too short for the strides of very tall runners. A few treadmills feature 62” tracks instead. One example is the EVO 1 by Smooth Fitness.

Our Verdict

Unlike the ProForm 2500, which gets lackluster reviews, the ProForm PRO 2500 is a winner. This modestly-priced treadmill offers excellent value with its good-quality parts, exceptional program variety, and a convenient touch screen. Admittedly, once you see the more advanced Pro 4500’s Android web browser, you might fall in love with that machine instead – but dollar for dollar, the Pro 2500 is just as good a buy.

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