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Last Updated: February 11, 2022
The Matrix TF30 treadmill is all about options! From watching Netflix, to taking a class on iFit, to browsing the internet, the content you can consume is pretty much endless. There are even different consoles to choose from when you purchase the treadmill. We opted for the premium option which is the XIR display. So, in this full Matrix TF30 treadmill review, I’ll go over the features available on that console.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Matrix TF30 Treadmill
Our team knows the in’s and out’s of treadmills. We know what you should look for when buying one, and what features are cool yet useful. We’re also experienced fitness professionals who are passionate about being active and enjoy encouraging others to move their bodies as well. When we review a treadmill, we focus on giving you our most in-depth analysis possible.
This Matrix TF30 treadmill review is no exception. We put time on the TF30 and compared it to other models of similar quality. We compared and contrasted it to the NordicTrack x22i Incline Trainer, the NordicTrack Commercial 2950, the Life Fitness Run CX, and the Sole F85 treadmill. This way we could get to know this machine and be able to bring you this comprehensive review.
Who The Matrix TF30 Treadmill Is For:
- Users who want a lot of options for workouts and entertainment, but don’t necessarily want to be tied into a monthly subscription for workouts.
- Walkers/joggers who want a treadmill that functions like a tablet.
- Runners with shorter stride lengths who want a compact treadmill for running that has tons of choices.
- Users who need a solid treadmill that folds up for more storage when it’s not in use.
- Senior walkers who want a high-tech treadmill.
Our Video Review of the Matrix TF30
- Several preloaded apps like Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, and Youtube
- Web browsing to search the internet and use other websites
- iFit enabled with an included 30-day membership
- Onboard workout modes like manual mode, custom mode, rolling hills mode, interval incline mode, heart rate training mode, and more
- Virtual Active program and Sprint 8 HIIT program are integrated into the treadmill
- HDMI input to plug in phone/tablet or media streaming device
- USB charging port
- Folds up to almost 90 degrees
- Bluetooth enabled to connect to compatible heart rate monitor and headphones
- XIR Display has 16” Touchscreen
- Motor: 3.25 HP Continuous-duty DC Johnson Drive System
- Footprint: 77”L x 35”W x 62”H
- Running Surface: 20”W x 55”L
- Cushioning: Ultimate Deck System
- Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
- Treadmill Weight: 333 lbs
- Speed Range: 0.5-12.5 mph
- Incline Range: 0%-15%
- 2 Cupholders and Device Rack
- 2 Pulse Grips
- 4 Wheel Transport System
- Warranty: Lifetime for frame, motor, and cushioning. 5-years for parts, and 2-years for labor
In-depth Review of Matrix TF30 Treadmill
Preloaded Apps, iFit, And Workout Content
When you order the TF30, there are 3 different console options depending on your preference and budget. They each vary on screen size and overall functionality. As mentioned above we have the XIR display that has a 16” touchscreen as well as many preloaded apps and features.
Before starting any of the workouts, or using any of the apps, you’ll be asked to input your weight, workout time, and starting speed and incline. In order for your weight to be saved, you must create your own profile for the treadmill.
The XIR display comes with several preloaded apps that you can simply log into your account for each and use. So, apps like Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, and Flipboard require you to log into your account or create an account if you don’t have one.
All of the app choices let you watch and read all kinds of content while you work out. Once you click on one of the apps, the treadmill requires you to start a workout if you aren’t already in one. When you’re logged into your created account on the treadmill your weight and login information within the app will be saved. You’ll remain logged into the apps when you use your profile on the treadmill too. I really like all of the app options available.
One app in particular that gives you even more options is the web browsing feature. You can search Google or browse your favorite websites that aren’t already preloaded onto the treadmill. There is only 1 tab available to use in this feature and every time you start a new workout, it defaults to a blank Google search page. So, a previously opened website won’t be saved for your next workout.
Plus, if all of the 14 apps aren’t enough, you can plug in an HDMI cord and mirror content from your phone/tablet to stream basically whatever you want. You can also plug in a device like an Amazon Fire Stick and use the screen like a television.
Good news iFit members! The Matrix TF30 is iFit enabled so you can log into your account and access the extensive library of workouts. Live and on-demand workouts are available for the treadmill as well as mat classes.
iFit features like SmartAdjust automatically adjust the treadmill when the trainer gives cues, just as it does on other iFit enabled equipment such as the x22i and 2950 treadmills from NordicTrack. Active Pulse can also be used on the TF30 when you connect the compatible heart rate monitor chest strap.
Although pretty much every iFit feature can be found on the TF30, we noticed that the leaderboard is absent. This didn’t bother me, but for those who enjoy the leaderboard, this is something to keep in mind. We have a feeling however that the leaderboard will be featured on the TF30 soon though and we will update this review if it becomes available.
What’s really nice about this feature is that iFit is not required in order to use the Matrix TF30 like it is required on the NordicTrack 2950 and x22i. So, if you’re not a member and are not interested in subscribing to iFit, don’t worry because you can still have full function of the treadmill’s features outside of iFit.
Beyond entertainment and fitness apps, there are onboard Matrix Training Workouts. These include a manual mode so you can simply hop on and go, a custom mode, rolling hills mode, intervals incline mode, various goal-oriented workouts, and some target heart rate workouts.
The preset workouts in these modes will adjust the treadmill for you as you walk or run, and you can also change the speed and incline levels yourself. The custom mode lets you create fully customized workouts that are broken into segments. Within the segments, you can pick the duration, incline level, and speed.
A really cool workout feature is the Virtual Active feature. Here, you can explore trails in the American Northeast and Northern Rockies. Once you pick from one of these 2 regions, the workout will start on one of the trails, and you can skip to other available trails from there. These workouts are not led by an instructor but are instead of a camera moving through real outdoor trails to simulate the experience of running/walking outside.
In Virtual Active, you can listen to the available music or mute it, and listen to the sound effects or mute them. You can also see the name of the trail you are on and where it is located.
Another great aspect of the TF30 is that it has the Sprint 8 program integrated as well. Sprint 8 is a HIIT workout program that automatically adjusts the treadmill depending on your intensity. Once you choose your fitness level, you can use the preset or custom workouts. You can also choose to watch or just listen to Sprint 8’s creator Phil Campbell explain and discuss the benefits of the program if you’re interested in learning more.
Both the Virtual Active and Sprint 8, as well as the onboard workouts, can be used without a wifi connection, which we really like.
The TF30 treadmill is also Bluetooth-enabled to connect to a compatible heart rate monitor and headphones.
The XIR console on the TF30 functions like a tablet and is easy to use. When compared to treadmills from NordicTrack, the screen is definitely thicker on the TF30 and it reminds me of televisions from the ’90s. Looks can be deceiving however because this is one of my favorite consoles to navigate. Plus, it doesn’t move even when running at high speeds.
Many fitness machines have speakers on the back that project the sound away from you, but the Matrix TF30’s can be heard loud and clear. The volume also goes up exceptionally high, so you’re sure not to miss a cue from your iFit instructor or a witty line on your favorite TV show.
Another aspect missing from the Matrix TF30 is quick-touch speed/incline controls that can be found on other treadmills like ones from Sole and NordicTrack. These make jumping from different inclines/speeds easy. The XIR console does have a nice feature that lets you switch back to your previous speed level. So, when you manually do high to low-speed intervals, this is pretty handy.
This feature can be found on the right side of the touchscreen above the current speed display. Otherwise, you have to press the up arrow on the touchscreen or on the console and watch the speed increase by 0.1 increments. If you hold down the speed buttons, they will change by 1.0 increments, but it’s still a little frustrating especially when you want to hop between fast and slow speeds.
Increasing/decreasing the incline is a little more seamless. By just pressing down the arrows on the left side of the touchscreen or console you can change the incline by 0.5%. When you hold them down, they quickly change to easily go all the way up to the max 15% or down to 0%.
There are 2 cup holders that hold my 22oz water bottle securely so it doesn’t rattle. There’s also extra storage connected to each cup holder for items like wallets and keys. I was also able to fit my phone in them. When you connect your tablet/phone there is a device tray below the speakers that is convenient and secure as well.
Construction Quality / Durability
We like that it feels stable and is easy and comfortable to use.
Matrix describes the frame as being heavy-duty, and our team agrees. It feels really sturdy, yet it isn’t bulky. The steel uprights attach to the frame and connect to the console and the single handle.
I really like this handle. The pulse grips are on either side so they’re easy to use. From the sides, the handle connects in the front to make one handle. It’s convenient to use especially if you have balance issues and need to frequently grab the handle while walking. That’s why we suggest it for seniors. You can literally grab it anywhere and it’s slim enough to get a firm grip.
This makes the handle a little more functional than the Life Fitness Run CX treadmill, which has 2 handles on either side and 2 separate smaller handles with pulse grips in front.
The TF30 has a 3.25 HP motor that feels hearty, consistent and is actually pretty quiet, even when used at its max speed of 12.5 mph. When side by side, it was a little bit quieter than the NordicTrack 2950 treadmill. This motor size is also good to handle running for longer periods of time too.
The incline motor is quiet as well. It’s not quite as quiet as the Sole F85 which is practically silent, but it’s fairly close.
We consider this to be a more compact treadmill because it has a smaller deck. The Life Fitness Run CX, Sole F85, NordicTrack 2950, and even the NordicTrack x22i all have running surfaces that are 22” x 60”.
The running surface on the Matrix TF30 is 20” x 55”. In our testing, we’ve found that decks shorter than 60” aren’t long enough for some users’ stride lengths. If you have a longer running stride, and like a bit more room to run on, this deck might not be best for you to do so. Walking and light jogging shouldn’t be an issue for most users though.
The deck also has pretty low foot noise and a low profile. The step-up height is about 8” which is very similar to the F85. The noise of the deck when I ran sounded pretty quiet like the Run CX treadmill as well.
The cushioning is also sufficient. While it doesn’t feel as soft as treadmills from NordicTrack like the x22i and 2950, it doesn’t feel quite as stiff as the Sole F85 or Life Fitness Run CX either.
Performance & Functionality
We really like the functionality of the XIR console on the TF30. My only complaint with the console is that the touchscreen sits a little further back and doesn’t adjust. This made it harder for me to reach the screen at times. I do have shorter arms and am short at just over 5’ tall, so taller users and users with longer arms shouldn’t have a problem. Doing things like typing into Google or playing Solitaire required me to move further forward on the deck.
In spite of this, it’s still one of my favorite consoles. Our team also likes how the motor performs. It’s quiet, which makes watching Netflix really nice, and powerful to handle long-term use. We’ll continue to update this review the longer we have this treadmill to let you know how it holds up over time.
Although the Matrix TF30 can incline up to 15%, we found that this feature might not be accessible for all users. At a 15% incline, the belt can slip and not maintain the inputted speed, especially with heavier users. Meaning, the weight of the user causes the belt to move faster than the speed that it has been set to. The TF30 does have a 350 lb weight capacity, but when our largest reviewer who is 230 lbs used the treadmill fully inclined a message reading “Speed Range Error” popped up and the workout immediately ended.
When he only had it inclined to about 10% – 10.5%, he didn’t have this problem. I even had the same problem. I could feel the belt speeding up and not keeping a steady speed when walking at lower speeds than 2.5 mph. I’m about 125 lbs in comparison. So, we don’t recommend using this treadmill at the max 15% incline.
This is pretty disappointing and we hope to see Matrix work on fixing this issue in the future. The entertainment, workouts, and overall quality of the TF30 surpass this issue for us though. If you want to use a treadmill at higher inclines then we recommend checking out the x22i and x32i incline trainers from NordicTrack.
A handy feature on the TF30 is that it folds up to almost 90 degrees to make storing it easier. So, the back end of the deck doesn’t angle out quite as far as the NordicTrack 2950 or Sole F85. The Matrix can also be moved when it is folded up.
Matrix offers a nice warranty for the TF30. There is a lifetime warranty for the frame, motor, and cushioning a 5-year warranty for parts, and a 2-year warranty for labor.
They also include a white-glove delivery and installation so you don’t have to worry about putting it together yourself.