The Matrix E30 is one of four new residential elliptical machines from the well-regarded fitness company, known for their high-end, commercial grade exercise equipment also including treadmills and bikes. Several years ago the company developed a new residential line to compete directly with Life Fitness, Precor and other big players in the space.
The Matrix E30 has a solid, compact design with suspension technology, which reduces noise and offers the most natural, smooth motion you will find. You have a choice of three different consoles, allowing you to pick the one that most appeals to you and fits your needs.
Let's take a look at some of the important specs...
The residential Matrix ellipticals and treadmills have received great reviews thus far, as the company appears to be maintaining the quality and design used in its popular commercial models, which is great news. Some companies that have transitioned into the home market have failed as they haven't been able to maintain the quality while lowering their price points...not so with Matrix.
The E30 is a rock solid elliptical trainer that looks and feels like something in a high-end health club. Yet it is perfect for the home gym due to its compact design and ease of use.
The company is known for its innovative technologies, and you get plenty of them here. For starters, you have Suspension Elliptical Technology that is wheel-free, unlike traditional machines, so the motion is very smooth and quiet...one of the most natural movements you'll come across.
You also get Sprint 8, an exclusive interval training program that features a series of fast and slow movements to maximize your results and help you burn more calories in a short amount of time.
ViaFit allows you to track all of your workouts to see your progress. The Matrix E30 is also Passport Ready, which means you can watch high def destination footage right on your TV while you train.
Other features will depend on which of the three consoles you choose.
You have the base XR console, a simple 8.5" LCD display. Stepping up you have the XER display, which adds a free Polar chest strap, Virtual Active, a 10" Bluetooth enabled touch screen, speakers, various applications, smartphone compatibility and a USB port.
At the top you have the XIR console, a 16" HD touch screen with all of the features of the XER, just with the larger display.
Regardless of which console you choose, you'll get a great workout with plenty of features and capabilities to help you reach your fitness goals.
Industry experts are very excited about this new lineup. The E30 starts at around $2200 with the base XR console and the XER adds about $500, with the XIR adding another $500.
The higher end E50 model gives you more resistance levels, Exact Force resistance, a stronger warranty and multi-position handlebars.
Then there are two Ascent Trainers, the A30 and the higher end A50, which give you variable stride lengths up to 24" as well as incline from 24% all the way up to 54%. So they offer much more freedom of movement and enhanced targeting if that is something that appeals to you. They are however a bit more expensive than the suspension ellipticals.
All of the new Matrix ellipticals are great choices, so you really can't go wrong with any of them. They're all commercial-grade, super smooth, compact, easy to use and get great reviews across the board.
When it comes to the Matrix E30 vs the E50, they are very similar, but the E50 gives you more features. You get 30 levels of resistance vs the 20 on the E30. The E50 also has Exact Force induction brakes, a magnetic system that makes transitions from one resistance to another more seamless and precise.
You'll get a better warranty on the E50 as well: 7 years on brakes and parts as opposed to 5 on the E30. The E50 is only about $300 more expensive than the E30, so you have to decide if the additional features are worth the small jump in price.
What about the E30 vs the Matrix Ascent Trainers? There's definitely more of a difference between the Compact Ellipticals and the Ascent Trainers than there is between the E30 and the E50.
For starters, the Ascent Trainers (A30 and A50) have a much larger footprint: they are 73" long as opposed to 58" on the E30 and E50. They're also about 20-30 lbs heavier. So if space is a concern in your home gym, definitely stick with the E30 or E50 elliptical.
However, if you have the space, the Ascent Trainers are pretty awesome. They have heavier flywheels, which means they are even smoother and quieter than the already very smooth and quiet E30 and E50. They also offer adjustable Perfect Stride motion (20"-24") as opposed to the fixed 20" on the compact Matrix ellipticals. So there's more freedom of movement.
The most appealing feature is the incline capability, something the Matrix E30 and E50 do not have. You can incline the Ascent Trainers from 24% up to 54%, which is quite a wide range. This allows for more muscle targeting and a more complete cardio workout.
So which one should you choose?
It really comes down to budget and needs. If budget is a concern, the Matrix E30 will be your best bet, as it is just over $2000 with the basic console. As we mentioned, the E50 is only a few hundred dollars more.
The Ascent Trainers start at $2899 for the A30 and $3199 for the A50.
Also, if size is an issue, the E30 and E50 are much more compact than the Ascent Trainers, which are about the size of a traditional elliptical. Those with limited space will definitely be better served with the compact Matrix ellipticals.
However, if both budget and space are not a major consideration, take a look at the Ascent Trainers as they do give you a lot more capability. They are smoother, quieter, give you adjustable strides for more flexibility and offer you incline that you don't get with the E30 and E50.
So there are a lot of advantages that come with the higher end Ascent Trainer Series.
We're liking the Matrix elliptical lineup thus far. We've been using the ones in the gym for many years, and blind tested you really wouldn't be able to tell if you were on a gym or a home elliptical machine.
The Matrix E30 is very compact, and gives you plenty of capability. It's smooth and natural, and will last for years due to its solid construction.
Either the E30 or E50 is a perfect choice for the home. If you have a little more room, and a high budget, the A30 and A50 give you incline and adjustable stride to really change up your workouts. Take a look at those as well.
As we've mentioned, you simply can not go wrong with a Matrix elliptical...regardless of which model you end up choosing.