Horizon T101-04 Treadmill Review – Pros and Cons (2020)

Kristen (Kacey) NelsonKristen (Kacey) Nelson

Last Updated: November 23, 2020

The T101 is Horizon’s entry-level treadmill that is best for walkers and joggers. It is compact, sturdy, quiet in operation, and has Horizon’s proprietary 3-Zone cushioning in the deck to protect your spine and joints. This is a great treadmill option for those who want gentle training and conditioning.

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Treadmill Awards: Best Treadmill for Walking 2020

Best Treadmill for Walking 2020
The Horizon T101-04 Treadmill has been awarded the best treadmill for walking. It has a great price, fits in small spaces, and works really well. It’s hard to beat for a value treadmill.


Who It’s For: Walkers and joggers looking for low-impact conditioning on a quality, affordable treadmill

The T101 is an entry-level treadmill, but it still offers some useful features.

  • Designed for light in-home use
  • Ideal for those with joint issues, as cushioning in the deck absorbs impact shock to protect tender joints
  • Helps users of all abilities develop cardiovascular fitness and gain leg strength with a low-impact workout
  • Great for those with limited space! The T101 folds up when not in use.
  • It is also lightweight and keeps a compact footprint when open
Pros
  • 3-Zone Cushioning reduces spine and joint impact
  • Compact footprint doesn’t take up much space when open
  • Folding design so you can fold up the T101 when you’re done with it
  • 10% Incline range offers lots of hill variables
  • 10mph max speed is plenty fast for most runners and walkers
  • Lightweight but still supports a 300lb weight capacity
  • Tablet holder on console allows you to watch, read or listen to your device while working out
  • Multiple workout metrics on the display keep track of your speed, calories, etc.
  • Preset Incline and Speed buttons make it so you can quickly move between speeds and incline levels
  • EKG grips on horizontal grip bar transmit heart rate to LED screen. These EKG grips are easy to hold.
Cons
  • Not suited for heavy training
  • Limited tech when compared with other treadmills
  • Speakers are not very powerful

FeaturesSpecifications
  • 3-Zone variable response cushioning in deck
    • The cushioning in the T101 is actually pretty impressive for such an affordable machine.
      Gentlecushioning in the deck absorbs impact force when walking or jogging. This allows you to walk orjog
      without discomfort or pain. It also prolongs the point of fatigue so you can workout longer.
  • Preset Speed and Incline Buttons
    • Preset speed and incline buttons on the console are visible and within easy reach. These allow you to
      jump from one speed to another or quickly adjust incline.
  • EKG grip sensors on handlebars
    • Placed directly under the console on the horizontal grip bar, the EKG sensors transmit your heart rate
      right to the console display.
  • FeatherLight Folding
    • The T101 folds up easily and locks in place when not in use. This reduces the amount of dedicated floor
      space you need for your treadmill.
  • Max User Weight: 300lb
    • The 300lb weight capacity is impressive on a treadmill this size! Users of all sizes can enjoy and
      benefit from the cushioned deck.
  • LED Display Metrics: Calories, Distance, Heart Rate, Incline, Speed, Time
    • The LED display keeps track of your stats during a workout. It will log your: calories, distance, heart
      rate, incline, speed and time. The speed, heart rate and incline numbers will vary depending on what you
      are doing at any given point. But calories, time and distance are cumulative, so you know what you’ve
      accomplished at the end of your workout.
  • Program Options: Calorie Burn, Distance, Manual, Time, Weight Loss.
    Different programs are available on the T101. You can choose a workout that focuses on:

    • Calorie Burn (preprogrammed high-intensity)
    • Distance (set a distance and walk that far)
    • Manual (just do your own thing)
    • Time (set a time and exercise that long)
    • Weight Loss (preprogrammed low-intensity)
  • Fan in Console
    • There is a fan in the console just below the control buttons. It isn’t large, but it is a nice option
      when you’re working out inside and need a light breeze.
  • Tablet Rack for your device
    • A tablet rack in the middle of the console is a great place to set a phone or tablet. You can listen to
      a podcast, watch a show or even read a book on your device.
  • 0 – 10mph speed
    • This is a good speed range for a light treadmill. 10mph is a quick pace, so don’t think that’s a slow
      jog! You have plenty of speed options and training variables on the T101.
  • 0 – 10% Incline range
    • Incline range is how far your treadmill will pivot upward. As the front end of the tread deck rises, it
      becomes more challenging to walk. This hill work builds muscle in the legs without having to run. It
      also offers lots of combinations you can use so you don’t get bored just walking on a flat road. You can
      set your speed to a brisk 3mph pace and work a hill at a 10% incline. Or you can pick up the pace at
      5mph and do a moderate 6% hill incline. All these combinations keep you fit and engaged. They also help
      develop different muscle groups for balanced conditioning.
  • Lifetime Warranty on Motor and Frame
    • Horizon is one of the few treadmill companies that still offer Lifetime warranty. This reflects the
      quality construction of the T101 as the company stands behind the product. The Lifetime warranty adds
      value to your overall purchase.

Construction

  • FeatherLight Folding
  • Tread belt: 20” x 55”
  • 2.5 CHP motor
  • 1.4mm silicone belt
  • 165lb treadmill weight
  • 70” x 34” x 55” Footprint
  • 46” x 34” x 61” Folded
  • Max User Weight: 300lb
  • Electrical Requirements: 60Hz – 120V

Console

  • 3 LED Windows Display
  • LED Display Metrics: Calories, Distance, Heart Rate, Incline, Speed, Time
  • Program Options: Calorie Burn, Distance, Manual, Time, Weight Loss
  • Audio In/Out jack
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Fan built in
  • Tablet Rack
  • Water bottle holder

Functionality

  • 0.7 deck thickness
  • 0 – 10mph speed
  • 0 – 10% Incline range
  • 3-Zone variable response cushioning in deck
  • Preset Speed and Incline Buttons
  • EKG grip sensors on handlebars

Warranty

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Motor: Lifetime
  • Parts: 1 Year
  • Labor: 1 Year

In-depth Review of Horizon T101

Construction

Frame

Steel beams support a MDF deck, which is constructed of multi-density foam for enhanced cushioning. Uprights are secure and the console sits snugly at the front of the machine. Overall, the Horizon T101 feels solid, so we don’t notice any rocking or wobbling in the console when walking or running. One thing that’s nice about the T101 is it has a relatively easy assembly. Compared with other machines that take several hours to all day to put together, the T101 can be assembled in less than two hours by one or two people.

Deck

  • Cushioning/Feel
    • The 3-Zone Variable Response cushioning in the deck reduces joint impact and is pretty impressive for such an affordable machine. The 3-Zones include a front Impact Zone, centered Transition Zone and rear Push Off Zone. This makes it so you get needed cushioning on the front end while maintaining a strong toe-off as the base. Gentle cushioning in the 18mm deck absorbs impact force when walking or jogging. This also prolongs the point of fatigue so you can workout longer.
    • Horizon promotes this machine for walking or light jogging, so if you plan to do heavy training with lots of running and intervals, it may not be the best option. But for speed walking intermixed with light jogging the T101 is well-designed and feels solid underfoot.
  • Length/Width
    • The running deck is 20” wide which is pretty standard for this price point, but it’s only 55” long. Many folding models will extend to 60” long, so this is 5” less in forward/aft length. An upgrade to the T202 will take you up to 60” in length, but it is around $200 more. Since the T101 is designed for walking, the length should be sufficient for most users.
  • Belt and Rollers
    • Both the belt and rollers are proprietary to Johnson Fitness, so these components are designed specifically for this machine. A 1.4mm silicone belt and 46mm rollers move the belt along smoothly with a nice lightly-textured walking surface and minimal noise.

Motor

The Horizon T101 has a 2.5HP motor which once again is ideal for walking or light jogging. The motor inclines the deck and adjusts speed smoothly so there are no hiccups or pauses when in use. The motor is also surprisingly quiet which makes the T101 great for home use.

Console/Controls

Screen

The screen is an LCD display with large digital numbers that are easy to see. Display metrics include: calories, distance, heart rate, incline, speed and time. The speed, heart rate and incline numbers will vary depending on what you are doing at any given point. But calories, time and distance are cumulative, so you know what you’ve accomplished at the end of your workout. You also select a program to use via the console controls and display.

Layout

Console layout on the T101 is navigable and easy to see. Large buttons on either side of the LCD screen have a number for every incline and speed, which is very handy when you want to quickly move from one level to another. There are also arrow buttons so you can gently adjust speed and incline when needed as well.

Fans

There is a fan in the console, directly beneath the screen and controls. This isn’t the strongest fan, but it does offer moderate air flow when jogging. Although it isn’t as strong as other treadmill fans we’ve tested, it is nice to have a fan at all — especially in a treadmill hovering around $550!

Console Storage

There are two large water bottle cups on either side of the console and a pocket on the front to set keys or a phone, etc.

EKG Grips

Situated on the front horizontal bar, EKG grips are easy to reach. These are less accurate than a chest strap, but they will transmit your heart rate to the LCD display for HR training.

Tablet Holder

A tablet shelf centered in the console is a great place to set your book or device. It is wide enough to hold most ipads or tablets securely. Any device placed here will block the screen, but the metrics continue to work throughout your workout so you can check them when needed.

Bluetooth Speakers

Two speakers along the bottom of the console will sync with most Bluetooth devices so you can listen to your music or program on the console speakers.

Functionality

Performance

The Horizon T101 is a great treadmill that does exactly what it is designed to do: provide a gently cushioned surface for light walking and jogging. The incline adds variability to your routine and functionality is streamlined from console to running deck so all motion feels fluid.

10% Incline

The front of the deck will pivot upwards reaching a 10% grade which simulates working on a hill. This stimulates additional muscle groups by engaging the posterior chain so you get more of a workout in the glutes and hamstrings. Each incline has a preset button so you can easily move between various settings.
You can set your speed to a brisk 3mph pace and work a hill at a 10% incline. Or you can pick up the pace at 5mph and do a moderate 6% hill incline. All these combinations keep you fit and engaged. They also help develop different muscle groups for balanced conditioning.

Pre-programmed workouts

There are several pre-programmed options, including:

  • Calorie Burn (preprogrammed high-intensity)
  • Distance (set a distance and walk that far)
  • Manual (just do your own thing)
  • Time (set a time and exercise that long)
  • Weight Loss (preprogrammed low-intensity)

Subscription Options

There are no subscription options on the T101. But this means you do not need WiFi or an internet connection to use the preloaded programs.

Noise Level

The T101 is surprisingly quiet. The motor operates at lower RPM’s so it doesn’t require additional fans to keep it cool. This reduces noise when in use.

Storage / Folding

The T101 will fold up so you can free up floor space when you are finished. It has a locking system which keeps it securely folded. This is one of our favorite features on the T101! It will fit in most apartments or small rooms.

Recommendation:

The Horizon T101 is a quality entry-level treadmill. It is our pick for Best Treadmill for Walkers. With a cushioned deck and folding design, you can get the most out of this treadmill and then fold it up when you’re done. A compact footprint keeps it tidy even when open and you can get a low-impact workout while working hills on the 10% incline. This is a great option for small homes, apartments, college students or those recovering from an injury.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Horizon T101-04 Treadmill
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