Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Treadmill Desk

ProForm Thinline Desk Treadmill Review

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Manufactured by ICON Health and Fitness, the ProForm Thinline Desk Treadmill is the entry level model in a 2014 collection that also features the top-of-the-line Thinline Pro, which offers a more powerful motor and built-in Power Uprights.

But if you’re looking to burn calories while you work, just how practical is it to have a fixed-height work surface, and do you really need a 12 mph belt speed for an under-desk treadmill?

In this review we’ll be taking a closer look at the design features and workstation setup, to help you decide if this is the best choice of treadmill desk for your own home office or workplace. This includes in-depth comparisons with the more affordable LifeSpan Fitness collection.

Design and safety features

The ProForm Thinline Desk features a fold-flat console that doubles as a work desk

We want to start off by saying that ProForm has an excellent track record when it comes to treadmill design, with bestsellers like the 505 CST, Pro 2000, and the Power 995i. So how has this been carried forward into their treadmill desks?

Unfortunately after writing full reviews for the entire LifeSpan Fitness collection, it seems like the ProForm Thinline struggles to compete.

It’s not as if the Thinline doesn’t have the power and build quality, but it just feels like they’ve tried to take one of their existing treadmill bases, created a rotating platform for the console, then marketed it as a treadmill desk.

If you were simply looking to buy a new treadmill, the specs are some of the best in the industry, especially at this price point. Not only do you have a 12 mph maximum belt speed, but you also have a large 22”W x 60”L belt surface, 2.75 CHP Mach Z™ Commercial Plus Motor, and a gradient that ranges from a 12% incline through to a -3% decline.

But there are a few subtle design flaws that mean it’s not the best choice of treadmill desk. This includes the fact that the uprights that support the console and desk are attached to the treadmill base. In most cases you would hope to find the two sections were seperate, otherwise any vibration from the treadmill will travel through the uprights to the desk, making it more difficult to type and write.

If you’re purely looking for a treadmill desk to support calorie burning while you work, you also have to question how many of these features you actually need. Most top-of-the-line under-desk treadmills only have a 2 mph maximum belt speed, with a walking surface of 20”W x 50”L, with no incline or decline settings.

The size of the work surface isn’t particularly impressive either, and at the time of writing wasn’t even listed against either product on their official website. Compare this to one of the LifeSpan Fitness treadmill desks, such as the TR5000-DT5, which offers 2 width options (38” and 48”), not to mention accessories for attaching monitor screens, and it’s difficult to make a case for choosing the ProForm Thinline.

Aesthetically the Thinline isn’t your best option either, with a black finish throughout, bulky side rails , and no choices for workstation customisation. This is particularly important if you’re looking for a treadmill desk that blends into a commercial office environment, where it’s often best to have narrow, unobtrusive frame uprights supporting a wide work surface with a natural wood finish.

The only situation where we could really see the ProForm Thinline being a worthwhile decision is if you are predominantly looking for a new treadmill for your home gym, but would like the option to send some emails and do light typing every so often.

In our opinion it’s not the best choice for working while walking. Although there’s a lifetime warranty on the motor, we would question whether the components would fare as well as the LifeSpan TR5000 treadmill motor, which has a continuous run time of up to 10 hours.

Safety features
The ProForm Thinline has all the basic safety features you could really need from a treadmill or treadmill desk. This includes the built-in safety rails and safety key, which connects an item of your clothing to the console and stops the tread belt if it becomes detached.

However, you don’t have any of the more advanced safety features like a passcode for activating the console, which is something that’s now available on many of the Precor home treadmills.

ProForm Thinline Desk Treadmill

ProForm Thinline Treadmill – Features Summary

  • Adjustable Console Angle + Desktop
  • Integrated Tablet Holder
  • 12 MPH QuickSpeed Control
  • -3% Quick Decline Control, 12% Quick Incline Control
  • 34 Workout Apps
  • CoolAire Workout Fan
  • Grip Pulse EKG Heart Rate Monitor
  • 7″ Backlit Display
  • 3.0 CHP Mach Z Commercial Plus Motor
  • 20″ x 60″ 2-Ply Commercial Tread Belt
  • Revolutionary SpaceSaver Design
  • iFit Enabled

Display console design

Because the ProForm Thinline features such a similar design to their home treadmill collection, you have the added benefit of a feature-packed console. This includes a 7” backlit display screen, integrated tablet holder, and Treadmill Companion app, which can be used to control the belt speed and incline settings directly via your tablet.

The only problem is that all of these features completely disappear when you fold the console down to its desk position. This means you lose the cooling benefits of the CoolAire™ Workout Fan and lose visibility of important workout feedback, such as speed, distance, time, heart rate, and number of calories burned.

In desktop mode you can still adjust the belt speed and incline thanks to the in-handle quick controls, but not being able to view even basic workout feedback is a significant disadvantage compared to the LifeSpan Fitness treadmill desks. It also means you can’t switch between any of the 40 workout apps or select any of the personalised workout programs from iFit.

This again seems to reinforce our opinion that the ProForm Thinline is, for all intense and purposes, a treadmill. Even in ‘Desktop Mode’, there’s no separate keyboard tray or additional storage attachment options, and no padded arm rests to support typing for extended periods of time. This increases the risk of developing health problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which can occur as a result of pressure on the median nerve in your wrists.

Another negative point about the desk design from a work perspective is that you can’t adjust the height. This is something that ProForm fix on the ProForm Thinline Pro, with 14 inches of electric desk height adjustment, but considering the price difference (usually an extra $400 for this feature and a slightly more powerful motor) we would question whether it represents good value for money.

iFit enabled

iFit subscription available with Google Maps technology, featuring workouts that automatically adjust the incline and decline to match natural terrain
iFit enabled means there’s no need to purchase a separate iFit wireless module. Access to iFit is made possible via your computer, tablet, or smartphone, where you can combine activity data for a complete overview of your fitness routine

Ease of assembly

Being produced by ProForm has a number of important benefits, as it means the Thinline benefits from a SpaceSaver design and minimal assembly. In fact, the entire treadmill base arrives already pre-assembled, along with the majority of the console uprights and the console itself.

All that’s required is to attach the base extension legs and connect the console/desk using the latches found at the top of the uprights. From there you’re able to move the treadmill between locations using the built-in transport wheels, or fold the treadmill deck vertically to create a compact footprint measuring just 12-inches wide.

Professional home assembly services
Fitness equipment is typically available with a number of home delivery and assembly options. For LifeSpan Fitness there are several different levels, ranging from basic curbside delivery through to their White Glove service (usually $199 for delivery to your room of choice, assembly, and removal of packaging materials).

Unfortunately ProForm have a fairly basic shipping policy, whereby they can only guarantee curbside delivery, but can provide an in-home assembly service to some locations. It’s worth checking their website and giving them a call if this is something you’re interested in.

For the ProForm Thinline treadmill desk the assembly is about as simple as it gets, but due to the weight of the machine in its packaging it would probably be useful to have someone to assist with lifting the boxes to your room of choice.

Amazon have also started offering in-home assembly services on certain fitness equipment products. If this is available at time of ordering there should be a link to choose from a range of local companies who can assist you (estimates will be provided based on your zip code).

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Motor: Lifetime

  • Parts: 5 year
  • Labor: 2 year

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

3.5 / 5

From a treadmill perspective the ProForm Thinline has all the features you would hope to find at this price range, including a powerful 2.75 CHP motor, incline and decline settings, as well as a wide selection of onboard workout apps.

But because this is being marketed as a treadmill desk, we have to look at it from the perspective that its main use will be to support a combination of walking and working. This means comparing it against other leading treadmill desks from industry leaders like iMovR and LifeSpan Fitness.

Unfortunately due to the smaller work surface, lack of arm rests and accessory options, no display screen when in Desktop Mode, and fact that the uprights are joined to the treadmill, we can’t recommend the ProForm Thinline for office environments.

Combining one of their more high-powered treadmills with a fold-down work space was a nice idea, but just not practical for what a treadmill desk is supposed to support. Because it's designed to support running, the footprint is too large to be practical for offices. It's also much heavier than most under-desk treadmills, making it more difficult to move around.

The only situation we could recommend buying this model over one of the LifeSpan designs is if you’ll rarely use the desk surface. If you’re mainly interested in running or jogging workouts but would like to supplement this with light typing, such as writing emails, then it’s certainly your best option.

However, if you’re looking for a treadmill desk or under-desk treadmill that’s capable of supporting working for longer periods of time, using one or two monitors and with a range of features to support your productivity, we recommend taking a look at our treadmill desk buying guide.

Product dimensions: 54.9"H x 80.6"L x 35"W Weight capacity: 300 lbs

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