Nautilus are a well-known name in the fitness industry, and as part of their ever-growing expansion plans, they have recently created another new brand called Universal, with the aim of producing affordable cardio machines that are suitable for home use (see the official press release here).
As a result of this, they have produced a new recumbent bike and a new upright bike, but in this article I want to review their latest elliptical machine – the Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer.
This is quite a basic looking machine compared to some of the top-of-the-range models from the likes of ProForm, Precor and Sole Fitness, but it still appears to be a pretty good buy if you are on a budget and cannot afford to pay upwards of $1000 or $2000 for an elliptical trainer.
Features And Benefits
- 8 magnetic resistance levels
- 7 workout programs
- 17-inch stride length
- large LCD display
- track time, speed, distance, pulse, calories, etc
- hand grip pulse sensors
- built-in speakers and reading rack
- heavy duty steel frame
- smooth and quiet in operation
- provides upper and lower body workout
- suitable for anyone up to 275 pounds
Product Dimensions / Weight
This elliptical machine has exact dimensions (in inches) of 56 (L) x 23.7 (W) x 64.5 (H) when it is fully assembled, and weighs approximately 90 pounds (with an overall weight capacity of 275 pounds).
Elliptical machines can sometimes cause pain in your knees and hips, but the first thing to say about this E40 elliptical is that people with existing joint problems have reported no problems at all with this particular model.
Indeed with a stride length of 17 inches, many people have commented on how comfortable this machine is, and how smooth and quiet it is in operation.
There are a range of workout options available because there are 8 magnetic resistance levels in total, and unlike many ellipticals in this price range, there are also 7 workout programs as well, which include manual, random and interval programs.
It doesn’t just provide a low-impact lower body workout either because the moving arms will work your arms and abs muscles as well.
Moving on to the console, this machine comes with a good quality LCD display that will display lots of useful information, such as time, speed, distance, calories burned and RPM. Plus if you place your hands on the built-in pulse sensors on the inner handlebars, it will also display your pulse rate.
In addition, it also has some decent sized speakers that will play music from your phone or tablet, as well as a reading rack should you wish to read a book or a magazine whilst you work out.
Finally it is worth commenting on the overall strength of this machine because you will find that this E40 elliptical has a solid heavy-duty frame that is suitable for anyone up to 275 pounds, and is fairly easy to assemble.
I always like to highlight some of the drawbacks of a particular machine as well as the positives, and in the case of the Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer, there are a few minor issues.
One slight issue concerns the reading rack because if you were to place a book or a tablet on this reading rack, it will inevitably cover the display screen. Therefore you won’t be able to see how much distance you have covered, or how much time you have been on the elliptical, for example, without having to move it.
In addition, even if you do use the LCD display to monitor your performance, it is not a backlit display. So you may struggle to read all of the numbers if you are using this machine in a fairly dark room. Plus the calorie counter is not very accurate according to some users.
Some people have also said that the speakers, whilst a nice feature, are not particularly impressive, which was always a common complaint with the previous Schwinn models (which this Universal model is based on).
Finally, as is the case with all fixed stride length machines, the E40 elliptical may not be suitable for taller people with long legs because it has a stride length of 17 inches that cannot be adjusted.
It can be quite hard to find a good quality elliptical at a reasonable price, but this Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer appears to be excellent value for money overall, despite having a few minor flaws that I have mentioned above.
That’s because it has a wide variety of workout options, is very easy on the joints and runs smoothly and quietly, whilst also being strong enough to support anyone up to 275 pounds.
It also comes with a decent LCD console that has a reading rack and built-in speakers so that you can entertain yourself during your workout.
Admittedly it would be nice if you could adjust the stride length so that really tall people could use it as well, but otherwise it appears to be a good quality machine because it has received a number of positive customer reviews.