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The Merit Fitness 725T Plus is light on features, but it's a solid machine for frugal walkers and light joggers. Its small workout area (18 x 45 inches) is too short for a lot of running, and the motor's 1.5 continuous horsepower rating is another indication that this is primarily a walking treadmill. However, several users posting Merit 725T reviews at Amazon have found that it works perfectly well for running. It can hold users up to 250 pounds without putting too much strain on the belt or motor.
It's difficult to find a treadmill at the $400 price point with automatic incline and numerous workout programs, but the Merit Fitness 725T Plus delivers. It offers speeds up to 10 mph and inclines up to a 10 percent grade. There are seven different workout programs, including weight loss, mountain and hill walks, cardio and endurance challenge, intervals, and manual. In a Merit 725T review at Bestcovery, which names this the best budget treadmill, an expert admires the dual LED screens that keep track of your progress. You can toggle among time, incline, and pulse on one screen and distance, speed, and calories burned on the other. However, as with most budget treadmills, the accuracy of some of these numbers is questionable. A conversation thread on Amazon points out that the formulas many treadmills use to calculate these readings assume the user is a 150-pound man; anyone else who is particularly concerned about such stats would be better off buying a separate monitor. This treadmill also comes with a water bottle holder, although a user who posted a Merit 725T review on Hayneedle notes that it can't accommodate anything larger than a standard 16.9-ounce bottle.
Most users report no problems assembling the machine; Merit 725T reviews say it takes under an hour. The treadmill folds up, although not completely vertically -- one user estimates that it folds to about a 60 degree angle. There is a lifetime warranty on the frame, two years on the motor, and 90 days on parts and labor.
For those interested in walking and the occasional jog, the Merit Fitness 725T Plus offers a lot for a low price.