If you're looking for an elliptical for your home gym, basement, or living room, Nordictrack is THE go-to name.
Their machines are top of the line, with some serious R&D and production values behind them.
They're certainly not the cheapest option on the market, so if you're going to plunk down the cash, you better do your research first.
In this article, I'm going to do a full detailed comparison, including pros and cons, of Nordtrack's two most popular elliptical models.
What is the Nordictrack Rear Drive SpaceSaver series?
Nordictrack has several different models and styles of elliptical, including their FreeStride Trainers, Mid-Mech Series, and Front Drive Series (there are lots of differences between them, but generally the series name refers to where on the machine the flywheel or drive-mechanism is located, which impacts overall size and range of motion for the exercise machine.)
The Rear Drive series features a flywheel in the rear of the machine, which offers a few key benefits, one of the biggest ones being it allows the machine to take up less space than its counterparts.
Simply put, the Nordictrack SE7i and SE9i are high-powered elliptical machines with smaller overall footprints than many comparable models.
They also feature up to over 20 levels of resistance and can elevate to over an 8 degree incline, all while operating in near silence.
Both also come with some awesome features like built-in speakers, built-in face fan, workout apps built-in to the console, heart rate monitors, and more.
Now let's get into the comparison: SE7i vs SE9i.
These two elliptical machines are essentially two versions of the same thing: They offer many of the same or similar features, similar construction and build, same quality, etc, but the SE9i is slightly higher end.
(You'll see why in the sections below.)
For that reason, the SE9i is a little more expensive, usually clocking in at just under twice the price of the SE7i.
Both are great values overall and come highly recommended.
Digital Display Comparison
Both Nordictrack elliptical models come with high-end displays that give excellent reads out on workout stats and progress.
The key difference is that the SE9i offers a full-color 7" touchscreen display, while the SE7i offers only a 5" backlit (not full color) display.
You can compare them in the photos below. Note that both elliptical consoles are shown holding tablets up top.
In terms of display size and quality, the SE9i definitely has the edge.
The SE7i and SE9i are nearly identical in size.
The SE7i has an overall footprint of: 78.7" L x 31.9" W x 67.0" H
The SE9i has an overall footprint of: 78.7" L x 31.9" W x 66.4" H
Essentially, they are the exact same size, though the more budget friendly SE7i does come in about half an inch taller overall.
However, this minor size difference is inconsequential with a machine so large.
Resistance Levels & Incline Comparison
Here's another area where the Nordictrack SE9i starts to show why it has the higher price tag.
Both ellipticals offer multiple resistance levels and incline settings, but the SE9i gets the slight edge here.
The SE7i offers 22 resistance levels and up to an 8 degree incline.
The SE9i offers 24 resistance levels and up to a 10 degree incline.
For serious exercise enthusiasts and people who want a great cardio challenge, the SE9i is going to be the better fit.
The SE9i offers the better warranty between the two elliptical machines.
Both have great coverage from Nordictrack, but the SE9i covers parts for 5 years and labor for 2 years on the elliptical frame.
The SE7i covers 2 years parts and 1 year labor.
Part of what you're paying for on the SE9 is the peace of mind that your machine is covered for years to come.
Comparison Chart: Nordictrack SE7i vs SE9i
It seems clear that the Nordictrack SE9i elliptical is the higher-end model and overall better product.
In fact, that's exactly how these two models are designed. One is merely a slightly stripped down version of the other in order to offer a better price points.
The bottom line is they're both great, and you should go with whichever model your budget can handle. Though if you can shell out the extra cash, the higher-end options and longer, more comprehensive warranty on the SE9i makes it a fantastic value.