Matrix E50 Elliptical Review
The Matrix E50 is rare among home ellipticals for using induction braking, which has benefits over the dominant technology of eddy current braking: even greater durability, faster response, and better precision. Induction braking also allows for ultra-smooth transitions among resistance levels, helping to make elliptical training even lower impact and more efficient.
A center drive design helps minimize this cross trainer’s need for floor space. More compact than competitors, the E50’s static footprint is just 59.5” long and 29.5” wide. Its active footprint isn’t much larger at 68.9” x 29.5”. At the same time, unlike some lower quality ellipticals the E50 supports a natural-feeling stride for most trainees. The 20” elliptical footpath is the standard for commercial ellipticals and comfortably fits the gaits of most adults and teens (shorter folks excepted).
The choice of high-end consoles contributes to the appeal of Matrix cross trainers. The three options are the basic XR with 8.5” LCD, the upgraded XER with 6” touch screen, and the XIR with 10” touch screen. Included on each console are an integrated reading rack, accessory tray and bottle holder. Here are details about the workout programming and special features:
- The Matrix XR has the simplest selection of features but includes a wireless heart rate receiver and ViaFit connectivity for wireless data sharing. It’s also Passport-ready for showing Virtual Active video on a big-screen TV via a Passport Media Player (sold separately). This console has five preset workout programs.
- The XER console is a big jump up in terms of features: It’s outfitted with the same functions as the XR, plus it has a touch screen, built-in video tours (no Passport Player required), high intensity interval training, mobile apps such as Twitter and MyFitnessPal, and iPod-compatible speakers. This console has 10 preset workout programs and three Virtual Active videos.
- The XIR console is the most advanced. It has the same features as the XER except it’s equipped with 11 preset workout programs, a web browser and a high-definition 10” touch screen.
The high intensity interval training included on the XER and XIR consoles is called Sprint8. The Sprint8 app generates eight-week training courses based on the user’s ability level. These courses require just 20 minutes of elliptical training three or four times per week. Rapid results have been proven in terms of increase in lean muscle mass, reduction in fat, and lower LDL cholesterol readings.
Our Favorite Features
- Compact for home use
- 20” stride
- Exact Force Induction Braking
- Multiposition handlebars
- Cushioned pedals
- Wireless and grip heart rate monitors
- Wireless data sharing
- Preset classic workouts
- Eight-week high intensity interval training (optional)
- Virtual Active video tours (optional)
- Speakers (optional)
- Mobile apps and web browser (optional)
- Reading rack
- High weight capacity
- Competitive warranty
Our Least Favorite Features
- Above-average price
- Fixed stride
- No transport wheels
The Bottom Line
The Matrix E50 has just about everything: smooth ergonomics, excellent durability, a choice of workout programming, optional mobile apps and more. A possible shortcoming though is its fixed stride of 20”, which doesn’t support movement variation or the needs of shorter trainees.