The Ascent Trainer A30 joins the A50 as two of the newest residential elliptical machines from Matrix, a brand known for manufacturing some of the best commercial exercise equipment on the market today. Just like Life Fitness and Precor, Matrix is making the jump from the health club to the home, bringing the gym experience to you.
The A30 features exclusive technologies including PerfectStride motion and Suspension Elliptical technology, giving you the most natural, smooth movement with minimal noise and almost no impact on the knees and joints.
Here are some of the most important specs...
The move into the residential market is a smart one for Matrix, and the experts are excited to see how it plays out. So far the reviews are quite positive, and the Ascent Trainers as well as the company's Suspension ellipticals have been well received.
The Matrix A30 features ECB magnetic brakes that make it very smooth and quiet, although not as quiet as its big brother, the A50 which features Exact Force Induction brakes.
You get a variable stride of 20 to 24" which can accommodate any size user, as well as power incline from 24% up to a very impressive 54%, allowing you to really target all of the different muscle groups. Note that the E30 and E50 suspension ellipticals do not offer variable stride or incline capability.
There are 20 resistance levels to choose from (30 on the A50), oversized pedals, and resistance/incline controls as well as heart rate grips are in the dual action handlebars.
One of the most exciting features on the Matrix A30 and other residential ellipticals from the company, is the fact that you can choose your own console. There is the basic XR 8.5" LCD display, the XER 10" touch screen and the XIR 16" high-def touchscreen.
The touch consoles offer more workouts, speakers and Bluetooth wireless connectivity so you can surf the web, check your social pages and watch videos while you work out.
Regardless of what console you end up choosing, you'll get at least 12 built in workouts, ViaFit technology for workout tracking, Passport control to watch HD videos on your own TV and wireless heart rate monitoring, although the chest strap is only included with the XER and EIR consoles.
The main difference between the A30 and the A50 is that the latter has a more advanced braking system, multi position handle bars, more resistance levels and a better warranty.
So if you are deciding between the A30 vs the A50, figure out if those additions are worth the extra $300 or so. Otherwise they are very similar, with the same 20"-24" stride and 24-54% power incline capability.
As far as the A30 vs the Compact Series (E30 and E50), you definitely get a lot more out of the A30. The main advantage of the Compact Series is the fact that they have a much smaller footprint. As such those with limited space would be much better served with one of those.
The E30 and E50 do have a fixed 20" stride however, and they also do not incline at all, two things to keep in mind while you are deciding which way to go.
For home use for those who do not have space constraints, the A30 or the A50 Ascent Trainers are both great choices...but if you don't have the space and/or you want to save a little money, the E30 or E50 will better serve you.
What about the console choices?
The basic XR console on the Matrix A30 is perfectly fine, but we like the more advanced XER and XIR consoles not only because they are touch screens, but also because the have Bluetooth capability, fitness app integration and additional workouts.
This allows you to get a lot more out of your workouts. For the extra $600 per console, you get a lot more functionality.
However, if you want to save a little money, the regular console has enough features and will be perfectly adequate for you, especially if you are not used to a touch screen console on an elliptical.
So far it looks like Matrix ellipticals will be giving Life Fitness, Precor and the other high-end brands a run for their money in the home market.
The A30 is a great machine with incline capability that you just don't find anywhere else. Add to that the choice of consoles and all of the other features and you have yourself a real winner.
Take a look at the A50 as well, which gives you a better resistance system, more levels, multi-position handlebars and a stronger warranty. But you really can't go wrong with either of these two machines, or one of the suspension ellipticals (E30 and E50) if you want to save a little money.