Currently available for £799.00 from Sweatband.com
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 from getting bored. The Proform 545i is a mid-range model in their catalogue and has been getting some attention 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 at the most for the majority of people to have it ready to run on. One thing that didn’t escape our notice was the inclusion of a crossbar that runs between the two upright columns at the front of the treadmill. This really does make a difference to the overall stability of this running machine and when undergoing the famous (or is that infamous?) ‘shake-test’ it’s clear that the addition of this bar makes the 545i feel significantly more sturdy than a lot of other models at similar prices. Good stuff!
Like a lot of treadmills, 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. Definitely a case of “function over form” here but that’s OK, this isn’t an art exhibition and the 545i has the important bits where it counts such as the inclusion of the large and rather hefty 1.9″ front and rear rollers.
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. There’s a reason that Proform’s own Proshox cushioning system hasn’t changed in a long time – it’s darn good.
The rollers, at 1.9” (4.8cm), are larger than those found on a lot of other treadmills, even ones that are to be found in far higher price brackets. As a rule, the larger the rollers the quieter the machine and the longer the lifespan of the treadmill, so Proform aren’t messing around here. That’s an impressive specification for any treadmill, let alone one at this price point. 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.
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 further up the dashboard. 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.
In addition to the 30+ on-board training options, the 545i is also iFit compatible. Subscribe to the iFit service (1-year iFit Coach subscription included) and you can download more workouts, track your fitness improvements, plot your own running routes anywhere around the world using Google maps and access a whole range of other features such as dietary advice and personal trainer developed 8-week fitness programmes. There’s also a large library of HD videos featuring pro personal trainers that run through exotic global locations staying with you and encouraging and motivating you and we found these to be really entertaining and effective. There’s also a Bluetooth connection available 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 visiting the iFit website for all the details.
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 going to win awards for its looks, this is one heck of a good treadmill. There’s something for runners of all levels (it can provide a serious challenge to anyone), it comes loaded with goodies and when you take iFit into account as well it has a truly huge amount of training options. Even without iFit, having more than 30 different ways to train is more than enough for most people. It’s also very sturdy and is uber-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, it really is outstanding value making the 545i easy to recommend.
The 545i provides a great running platform with literally dozens of different training options. It's also packed with nice little extras and when you throw in the iFit compatibility and included subscription this is a running machine that will serve well for general family use, but also for more intense, high-level, training sessions. It's also been manufactured very well with good money clearly being spent on internal components to ensure that it lasts. None of this is surprising coming from Proform. The surprising part here is how low it's been priced. This is, simply put, a huge amount of treadmill for this kind of money and makes the 545i an absolute bargain right now.
Proform Power 545i Specifications
- 2.5 HP (Continuous) 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)
- Interactivity: iFit Coach BLE Enabled – use the iFit Smart Cardio app on compatible tablets and smartphones (1-year iFit Coach subscription included)
- 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
- 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
Currently available for £799.00 from Sweatband.com
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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