Proform Performance 1850 Treadmill Review

Proform has been a dominant brand in mid-market treadmills for a number of years. Like its sister brand, NordicTrack, it’s started to make a move into the higher end.  The Proform brand is synonymous with achieving specification / price point combinations that set industry benchmarks. So, we’ve got our hands on one Proform’s new flagship models, the Performance 1850 treadmill in order to see how it stacks up.

Assembly of the product is similar to most Proform and Nordic machines. As we’ve come to expect from this manufacturer, the instructions are very clear. It’s advisable to have two people involved in the assembly as this is a large & heavy machine. All in all, it’s no more difficult than assembling Ikea furniture and should take about an hour to put together.

The first impression of the assembled machine is that this is a very serious treadmill with a hint of luxury about it. Our eyes were naturally drawn to the console with a stunning looking screen mounted in the middle. But, as with all of our reviews, we needed to establish the basics before getting familiar with the features and toys on offer in the console.

The running deck is an over-sized one, which means users of all heights will be able to run without having to be concious of needing to stay securely on the running belt. The machine is powered by a 3 horsepower continuous duty motor. This, along with good sized rollers makes means that the treadmill operates the belt all the way up to its max speed of 22 kph with ease and relatively quietly too. Cushioning is provided by Proform’s ProShox system. We’ve come across this system before and there have been occasions where we’ve been left less than impressed with it. However, it seems to work really well on the deck of the Performance 1850 (probably due to its longer length). There’s just the right amount of shock absorbtion compared to pounding the pavement, without it ending feeling like you’re running on a trampoline!

Along with the high max speed, there’s a maximum incline of 15% on offer. We can confirm that this incline level is ‘real’ – ie. not 15 levels that take you to 10%, but actually 15%. Whilst few runners will sprint for any length of time on such a high level of incline, those concentrating on weight loss / calorie burn will benefit great as jogging on incline burns as many calories as running on flat and will be kinder on the joints too.

And now onto the console 🙂 It’s here that the 1850 elevates itself far above many of its competitors. Sitting proudly in the middle is a 7″ full colour, touch screen android based tablet. This provides for an absolutely amazing user interface that is very intuitive to use and provides a level of feedback that’s lacking as standard on most treadmills. Examples of this include the total height climbed during a run and the number of calories per hour that’d be getting burned at the speed and incline the user is running at. There is an impression selection of programmes built into the console, logically grouped together with direct access keys running up the left-hand side of the console. One type of programme that we were very pleasantly surprised to see on a Proform machine is a heart rate controlled one. We’ve not seen Proform machines with this feature for a number of years and it’s great to see this all-important feature for serious training being made available on the Performance 1850. We also noticed that this Proform is one of the first machines on the market making use of Bluetooth Smart protocol for connecting with a chest strap. This is something we see a lot of other brands following in the coming years.

The treadmill can also be connected to a home wi-fi network and this enables the full features of the system to be used. There are iFit shortcut buttons built into the right-hand side of the console. As standard, a 1-year subscription is included with the Performance 1850 to enable you to experience this very comprehensive system for yourself long enough to decide whether it provides long term, goal-orientated motivation or if the novelty of downloadable training programmes and routes wears off and you’d rather stick to the onboard features only. Do keep in mind that even without connecting to the iFit Live, there a couple of stunning rolling video programmes built in!

As with pretty much all home treadmills, the 1850 folds and despite its over-sized running deck (which is great in use), it takes up a floor space of less than 1 square metre when folded. There are transport wheels, but this is a big and imposing machine and we’d recommend avoiding trying to move it around regularly.

In terms of extras, this treadmill has all the standard ones: built-in speakers (which aren’t actually as bad as most treadmill ones we’ve seen) and a workout cooling fan of a decent size. Also, there is a tablet holder that’s positioned just at the highest point of the console in the middle. This is a really good little feature as it positions a tablet perfectly for watching video whilst running.

Finally, 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.

So, it seems that Proform has managed to jump into the premium treadmill market segment and are maintaining their performance well. The Performance 1850 delivers a great running experience as well as an excellent user interface, entertainment and motivation through its console.


Best Price

The Proform Performance 1850 is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

With an over-sized running deck, decent motor and lots of programmes, the Performance 1850 is capable of handling the needs of most runners. It also has a decent touch screen android console, which is a nice feature. However, there are other treadmills that offer similar performance specs, for significantly less money. Take the DKN RoadRunner I for example which is an excellent running machine and currently costs £100 less whilst offering more customisation, as well as a user-friendly interface and uncomplicated assembly.

Proform Performance 1850 Specifications

  • 3.0 CHP Mach Z Commercial Plus motor
  • Speed range: 0-22 kph (0-13.6 mph) with Quick Speed controls
  • Incline range: 0-15% with Quick Incline controls
  • Console with a 7″, back-lit LCD display
  • Web browser powered by Android
  • Console feedback:  incline level, elapsed time, time left, calories burned, calories per hour, distance, number of climbed vertical metres, speed, a track a quater of a mile, pace, laps, heart rate
  • Running deck size (W x L): 51cm (20″) x 152cm (60″)
  • ProShox cushioning
  • Programmes: 30 Personal Trainer Workouts and iFit technology compatibility
  • Space Saver folding design with Easy-Lift assist
  • Heart rate measurement via hand grips and wireless receiver (chest belt included)
  • Extras: transportation wheels, CoolAire workout fan, iPod/mp3 compatibility, built-in speakers
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 207cm (81.5″) x 91cm (35.8″) x 162cm (63.7″)
  • Folded dimensions (L x W x H):  91cm (35.8″) x 92cm (36.2″) x 169cm (66.5″)
  • Max user weight: 145 kg (319.6lbs)
  • Product weight: 102 kg (224.8lbs)
  • Warranty: lifetime frame, 5 years motor, 2 years parts and labour

Proform 1850 Treadmill - Console / Display Unit

Proform 1850 Treadmill - User Reviews

The Pros

  • The console
  • Heart rate control option
  • Good sized deck with cushioning

The Cons

  • Requires subscription (after 1st year) to use all the downloadable features
  • The android console takes about 45 seconds to boot up
  • A bit more expensive than the competition at current price
Proform 1850 Treadmill Reviewer Ratings

Power - 8
Appearance - 7.5
Running Area - 8
Comfort - 8
Reliability - 8
Noise - 8
Ease Of Use - 8
Controls - 8
Warranty - 8
Value for Money - 6.5
Best Price

The Proform Performance 1850 is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

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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