We looked at manny different models of ellipticals before purchasing this Sole modle. We decided on this one because it had the best features and fit both my husband and I's body the best. My husband put it together himslef in about an hour and a half. He had no problems with it, but it was very heavy! We had to use a dolly to get it in the house and down the stairs. There's not way two people could do that without the help of a dolly.
The screne of this elliptical is very nice. It is bright and easy to see with an esay on the eyes blue backlight. It shows your time remaining, distance, calories burned, heart rate, distance around a track you have traveled, and the resistance levels of the program you are on, and the resistance level you are currently on blinks. It also beeps every minute to give you an audio cue to where you are in the workout. When starting the program it will give you scrolling instructions along the bottom. The are a bit hard to read at first, but you get used to it after a while.
There are lots of workout programs to choose from (12 I believe). They ranges from manual, to fat burn, cardio, mountain hike, and many more. I tried to start on the cardio worout, but found out I was not ready for a program. I am starting on manual and gradually increasing time and resistance until I can take the intesnity of a programed workout. There are 2 spots to enter personal information and save programs. This helps so that you do not have to enter the info in everytime you workout.
This elliptical offers many levels of resistance, and they are definatley noticable. Some of the ellipticals we tried did not give much of a difference between level 1 and level 20 resistance. This Sole elliptical's highest resistance is noticably stiffer than the lower levels. I like the fact that you can change resistance levels during your workout too.
You can change the angle of the foot pedels on this elliptical too. I set them at the flattest becuase it is most comfortable to me. I tried them at a different angle, but it wasn't for me. This elliptical has an 18" stride length, which is good for me because shorter elliptical strides crap my quads. It is a perfect stride for my husband too.
There are 2 sets of handles, 1 stationary with heart rate monitors, and 1 moving with the motion of the strides. There is also a strap on chest heart rate montior you can use along with a certain program. This elliptical also has a built in fan with high, low, and off settings. I do not use this fan just because it is cool enough where we use it. I love the built in mp3 player and speakers. I plug my iPod into it and can either play it out loud with the built in speakers, or with headphones.
There are some things about this Sole elliptical that I have found I do not like. First, after 2 days of using it one foot pedle started to squeek. After about 2 more days both sides started to squeek. We have not yet figured out what is squeeking, but it is really anoying. It could possibly be because we do not have a pad under it, but they do not specify needing one.
Also, the heart rate handles are not acurate at all. I have tried them before exercising, during, and after and have never got an acurate number. It is just about impossible to get a reading at all while moving on the elliptical. It it does show a number, it is never right. The number continuously changes also, so you never know which is the closest. I have not yet used the strap on chest monitor to see if it is any better.
One design flaw is the fact that the electrical cord is in the froun of the elleptical. Unless you want to face the wall or be right along side the wall you will need an extension cord. Also, if you really get moving or do not keep your body weight centered at all times, the elliptical gets to rocking a little back and forth. It's not so bad that it effects your workout or that you will fall off though.
The other design flaw is the water bottle holders. They are large and deep, but they are ment to hold your drink laying on its side. You can not have any container that will not close with a lid.
Overall, this elliptical does its job and has many good features for the price. I suggest looking at many different places and companies before selecting an elliptical. It's all about comfort and what works best for your goals.