This is a discussion of the Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Treadmill and its use as a treadmill for a desk. For even MORE information on how to set this treadmill up for use with a desk, maintenance, ergonomics, etc… go HERE.
The bottom line: It’s great for a treadmill desk, provided it can fit under your particular desk and you don’t mind putting in a little bit of work to modify the treadmill (and save a lot of money in the process). Under pretty extreme usage conditions, this treadmill decided to kick the bucket after ~1.6. I think that’s a good lifetime of the product, considering I was using it for several hours at least 4-5 days out of my week. My replacement was the same model, but with the SquareTrade 3-Year Fitness Protection Plan. I think it’s actually a good warranty deal since they wouldn’t expect users to be “abusing” their treadmills as much as we are likely planning on doing, so it’s priced without that knowledge. I considered the LifeSpan TR1200-DT Treadmill Desk because of it’s great reviews and sleek package, but the main drawback for me was the weight. I probably can’t lift or move the LifeSpan around by myself (Unless it put it on furniture moving pads?). I can pretty easily lift the Confidence treadmill over my head though.
Let me begin with a review of the positives of the Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Treadmill:
1) It’s pretty quiet. I’m in an apartment complex and have yet to hear a neighbor complain. It might be annoying if you’re listening to music, but it’s really not that bad at all. If you’re looking to put one at work, know that even though the treadmill isn’t too loud, the unavoidable sound of your feet thumping on the tread is probably enough to annoy your neighbors.
2) It’s small and light. Some might see this as a negative for a regular running treadmill, but I like that I can move it around by myself and that it fits under my desk easily. If you’re set on using a treadmill for running as well, consider the TrekDesk, since that’s pretty much the only solid option for a full sized running treadmill.
3) It’s relatively cheap. At ~$200, you can’t really beat it for what it does. Treated well and with the ~$25 protection plan, this thing will not disappoint your budget minded side.
4) Most importantly: It works for a treadmill desk. It’s small, rather flat, and you can remove the arms with a bit of minor modifications. After modification, you still have the control panel too. If you get a larger treadmill, you may not be certain that you can detatch the arms easily or re-position the control panel. Basically, this is a tried and true treadmill for desks.
Here are a list of the negatives that are common among the amazon reviewers, as well as my review of that review.
My forced negative review: After 1.6 years of use, I can pretty confidently (hah, puns…) say that the main drawback of this treadmill is that it can overheat (BUT! I found an easy solution. A FAN!), it’s a bit small (which may actually be good), and the 30 minute stop timer isn’t ideal and kind of annoying to “fix”, but hey, it’s cheap. The first treadmill I had, I just allowed it to overheat, it still lasted me those 1.6 years, and it wasn’t the motor that burned out, it was a diode on the power board. My second treadmill is about at 1.8 years now and is still going strong. I’ve been maintaining is much better and have been using a fan though. However, this whole issue can be sidestepped without worry with an extended warranty. I got the SquareTrade 3-Year Fitness Protection Plan with my replacement, but have yet to use it.
And now for other peoples’ reviews and my responses to them.
1) “It’s fragile/lightweight.” Yes, it is very light, and definitely not for hardcore running or for individuals who weigh significantly over the rated 250lbs. But it’s more than fine for the 1-2mph walking that I recommend. You wouldn’t want to be sweating and running at your computer anyways, that’s just silly. I also chose this treadmill BECAUSE of it’s light weight. The top of the line desk treadmills are over 150lbs and seem too troublesome to move around easily. I see this lightweight attribute as a plus.
2) “It stops every half an hour.” (UPDATE! It seems that some of my site’s visitors has put together some instructions on how to fix this problem! Head over to: Disabling The Confidence Treadmill Timer to check it out!) If you don’t have the time to mess with the wiring, the 30 minute timer actually isn’t that bad. When it stops suddenly, it gives you a nice cortisol spike, which might actually be beneficial to learning and attention! You can get used to the stopping pretty easily as well, and once you get used to it, you feel like a ninja whenever you don’t walk into the desk when it stops. Also, when the treadmill starts to get worn in, you can basically feel the stop coming because it’ll slow down gradually. Also, if you don’t cut the speaker entirely (#3 below) and use the superglue method, then you can usually still hear the speaker indicate that it’s going to stop, it’s just severely muted.)
3) “It makes a loud beeping sound when you turn it on and off.” I cut the speaker circuit and show you how to do so that there’s no more sound. You can also open up the control panel and drop some super glue into the speaker. You can also just pry the speak up from the board. This really isn’t an issue.
4) “The motor is underpowered.” Yeah, probably. But after 1.6 years of use and having walked my treadmill to death, I think more highly for the motor, since it was not the item that broke. The motor does sometimes gets hot and if I let it go without a fan blowing on it, somethings smells like it’s cooking. If you plan on using this for large time spans, you may want to consider getting a dedicated fan to blow on it or to work in some kind of circulation into the motor casing. Also, I believe regular lubrication and maintenance can help to prevent this issue.) If you’re really worried about it, I recommend the SquareTrade 3-Year Fitness Protection Plan, which should cover the motor.
5) “The tread slips a little.” Yup, if you really try, you can make it slip. However, if you maintain the treadmill properly, lubricate it, and tighten and center the tread, this isn’t much of an issue. I wrote a post HERE that gives the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do this. You’ll notice that the wrench to make this adjustment came with the treadmill. This is sometimes difficult to do properly, but it is indeed possible, so don’t give up!
6) “The lowest speed is 1MPH.” 1MPH is rather slow, so it’s not totally unreasonable. It’s about the speed that I would be pacing back and forth slowly if I were to ponder something. But if you’re in hot climate, walking this pace can make you a little clammy (another reason for A FAN!). Although a slower option would be nice to have, 1MPH is perfectly fine. I’m just being nit picky.
7) “The angle is at a slight incline.” Even when you take the bars off, it’s still at a very slight incline because you’re sitting on the motor casing. I put a folded up towel at the back end with enough folds to make it level and that solved the problem completely. Some people like the added cardio of the incline, other (like me) have ankle problems that are affected by the incline, so to each their own.
Here’s a picture of my completed treadmill desk:
Here’s a link to a tutorial about how I took the treadmill out of the box and turned it into what you see in that picture. (Taking off the arms, modifying the circuit to disable the speaker.)
And finally, whatever option you choose, make sure to find the proper ergonomics for you before you overdo it! I’ve figured out my optimal ergonomics, and it took me a few months of use. You can see what I’ve determined to be best for me HERE.