Proform Power 545i Treadmill Review

Proform have a great reputation founded on years of producing good quality treadmills that consistently represent excellent value for money. You’ll be hard pushed to find a Proform treadmill that doesn’t deliver the highest specs available at any given price point. Their catalogue is wide ranging and has something for everyone ranging from casual use to hardcore machines built to withstand a real hammering by advanced runners and families. They’ve always come with lots of goodies designed to keep you training and prevent you getting bored. The Proform 545i is a mid-range model in their current catalogue and has been getting some attention in the biz so we thought we get up close and personal to see what’s on offer.

As always the first step is getting it out of the box and putting it together. It’s a two person job but there’s nothing particularly difficult or fiddly. The instructions are well written with clear diagrams and as long as you’re not completely ham-fisted at putting things together there’s nothing to fear here. Yes, we’ve built lots of treadmills, but everything goes where it should, fits together as it should and all the parts were present in our test model box. It shouldn’t take more than an hour tops for most people to have it ready to run on. One thing that didn’t escape our notice was the inclusion of a cross bar that runs between the two upright columns at the front of treadmill. This really does make a difference to the overall stability of the treadmill and when undergoing the famous (or is that infamous?) ‘shake-test’ it’s clear that the addition of this bar makes the 545i feel more sturdy than some of the other Proform models at similar prices. Good stuff!

Like a few other Proform machines the 545i isn’t a ‘looker’ but there’s something reassuring about the way that it’s put together. All the steel parts are substantially thick, and it has an industrial look about it which is comforting given that it’s got to take a repeated pounding for many years.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, the 545i has a substantial running area of 51cm x 140cm (20” x 55.1”) which provides more than enough room for a secure run. While it’s not quite as large an area as that of gym machines it’s still more than enough for anyone to run on, even if you’re very tall. The deck is markedly cushioned and if, like your reviewer, your joints protest at being subjected to repeated shocks then this is a treadmill that will appeal. The landing is soft and comfortable and it’s obvious that the cushioning system is doing its job.

The rollers, at 1.9” (4.8cm), are larger than those found on a lot of other treadmills in this price bracket and the larger a roller the quieter the operation and the longer the lifespan of the treadmill, as a general rule. The motor, too, at 2.5hp  is substantial and more than enough for a home use treadmill. That 2.5hp motor also means that the 545i is nice and quiet at jogging and normal running speeds. Even when pushed to its maximum it’s still quiet compared with many other models we’ve tested, though at top speed it does make a reasonable amount of noise, as any machine pushed to its maximum will do.

The maximum incline runs to a respectable 10% and the combination of the 18kph (11.2mph) top speed and 10% incline does mean that this is a treadmill that can deliver a serious punch in terms of pushing you hard, regardless of your level of fitness.

Unlike the vast majority of treadmills these days the 545i employs an LED display to deliver your training data, rather than an LCD display. The best aspect of this is that regardless of the ambient lighting in the room, the display is crystal clear and easy to read. Many LCD displays suffer from relative fading in bright light and some can even seem a little cluttered due to the sheer amount of data they’re trying to communicate, making them hard to read. There are no concerns of that nature here though. And while the data toggles in the different LED windows so you don’t get all the data in one hit, it’s actually easier to read than many LCD displays, because the characters are large, bright, clear and uncluttered. It’s a good system and is clearly and logically laid out, as are the control buttons. The basic functions of Start, Stop, Speed and Incline have been separated off into a different section of the control panel so that those who simply want to get on and run can do so without have to read the manual. The quick speed/incline buttons are also separated from the rest and have been thoughtfully placed at a nice height to make them easy to press while in the middle of your workout.

For those that do want to make use of the considerable amount of functions this treadmill has to offer, the rest of the controls are positioned at the top of the screen. The preset workouts are categorised into Incline, Intensity and Speed with selection made simple by just pressing the relevant button repeatedly until you reach your desired workout. For more accurate data feedback you can also enter your weight. One of the features worth mentioning here is the custom focus weight loss workout. Once you’ve entered your weight you then set either how long you want the workout to last, or how many calories you want to burn. Once the workout starts the display shows the remaining time and the workout continues until you reach the goal that you set. Unlike other workouts, the weight loss focussed workout allows you to adjust the speed and the incline as if you were in manual mode. Once you reach your target the belt automatically slows down to a stop. Of course, the usual caveats about actual real world calorie burn apply here but it’s a very easy way to make sure you get the workout you want and it’s a function that’s bound to appeal to a lot of potential buyers.

Like all new Proform treadmills the 545i is iFit compatible. Subscribe to the iFit website (subscription sold separately) and you can download more workouts, track your fitness improvements, plus the software is powered by Google Maps, so you can plot your own running routes anywhere around the world. There’s a Bluetooth connection available as well so you can connect a smart device and access your iFit account while running so you can actually see your progress on the map. iFit does a whole lot more than this and if you want to know the details it’s worth going to the iFit web site to get all the information.

The wireless heart rate receiver is also Bluetooth and will work with any Bluetooth Smart heart rate transmitter. The test unit, as entirely expected, worked perfectly and didn’t miss a beat. Again, like all Proform machines, the 545i comes with a good deal of nice little touches. It’s got built-in speakers and you can plug in your music player. There’s also two water bottle holders, key holder and a tablet holder that’s positioned at the top of the console which makes for nice easy viewing during your run.

The warranty is the standard Proform one (requires registration online) of lifetime on the frame, 5 years on the motor and 2 years parts and labour.

The conclusion here is that while it’s not the prettiest looking treadmill, it’s a heck of a good one. There’s something for runners of all levels (it can provide a challenge to almost anyone), it comes loaded with goodies and has a huge amount of training options. It’s also very sturdy and is very, very  comfortable to run on  – which is probably the most important part of a treadmill! Proform’s experience in building treadmills is clear to see here and at this price point it really does represent great value for money.

Best Price

Currently available for £579.00 from Sweatband.com

Review Summary - In Brief

The 545i provides a great running platform with dozens of different training options. It's also packed with nice little extras and when you throw in the iFit compatibility it's a machine that will serve well for general family use, but also for more intense, high-level, training sessions. None of this is surprising coming from Proform. The surprising part is the price point. For what you’re getting, they could probably increase the price by a hundred pounds, and you’d still be getting good value!  

Proform Power 545i Specifications

  • 2.5 CHP Mach Z™ motor
  • 0-18kph (0-11.2mph) top speed with Quick Speed™ controls
  • 0-10% incline with Quick Incline™ controls
  • 51cm (20”) x 140cm (55”) running area
  • 1.9” precision machined and balanced non-flex rollers
  • ProShox™ cushioning technology
  • Multi-window LED display with an integrated calorie burn meter
  • Feedback: Speed, time, distance, calories, incline, pulse, pace
  • 31 programmes (manual, 20 pre-set programmes including Speed, Incline and Intensity workouts, custom focus weight-loss programmes including 5 target time and 5 target calorie workouts)
  • Heart Rate Measurement via hand pulse grips + Bluetooth Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional extra)
  • Space Saver folding design with Easy Lift Assist
  • Conveniences: dual water bottle holder, tablet holder, transportation wheels, iFit® Bluetooth Smart Enabled (subscription optional)
  • Audio: Compatible music port for iPod®/mp3, intermix acoustics 2.0 sound system
  • Dimensions in use (L x W x H): 188cm (74”) x 91cm (35.8”) x 149cm (58.7”)
  • Dimensions folded (L x W x H): 91cm (35.8”) x 91cm (35.8”) x 169cm (66.5”)
  • Max. user weight: 125kg (275.6lbs)
  • Product weight: 79kg (174.2lbs)
  • Power Supply: Mains
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, 5 years motor, 2 years parts and labour (if registered within 28 days of purchase

Proform Power 545i Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

Proform Power 545i Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Large, comfortable deck
  • Bright easy to read display
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of training options
  • iFit compatible

The Cons

  • Not the greatest 'looker'
Proform Power 545i Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 9
Appearance - 8
Running Area - 9.5
Comfort - 9.5
Reliability - 8.5
Noise - 8.5
Ease Of Use - 9.5
Controls - 9
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 9.5
Best Price

Currently available for £579.00 from Sweatband.com

Also see our Treadmill Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

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