Wondering which is best for you?
These are two ultra-affordable rowers from Nordictrack, both coming in under $1000.
They’re both designed for comfort with molded, ergonomic seats and adjustable, oversized pedals.
Plus they both fold up for easy movement and transport – making them a great choice for smaller workout areas like condos or apartments.
So what’s the difference between these two models? And which should you choose?
This post will look at the main differences between the Nordictrack RW200 vs RW500 rowers to help you decide.
So let’s jump in:
Nordictrack RW200 vs RW500: Price
As of this writing, the Nordictrack RW200 rower has a slight edge, coming in at around $799 with Free Shipping here.
The Nordictrack RW500 is the next model up with a few more perks. You can get it for around $999 with Free Shipping here.
The console is where you see the biggest difference between these two models.
The Nordictrack RW200 has a smaller watts backlit display. It shows your speed, time and watts.
The Nordictrack RW500 console is larger and gives you a lot more feedback like calories burned, heart rate, RPM, strokes, time and more:
Plus, Nordictrack has recently added a 10-inch tablet included with this rower (no extra charge) that you can put on the media shelf in front of the console like this:
This effectively turns it into a color console with the tablet.
You can then connect with iFit Coach through the tablet and row different waterways all over the world or take a streaming rowing fitness class from your machine – very cool.
So there’s a lot more things to do on the RW500 than the RW200 console.
The Nordictrack RW200 rower gives you up to 24 digital resistance levels. The RW500 model gives you up to 26 digital resistance levels.
So there’s a bit more room to grow with the RW500 rowing machine.
As stated above, the Nordictrack RW500 rower comes with a media shelf that you can use to hold the tablet.
You could also use the media shelf for your own tablet or phone. Then connect with Netflix, Hulu or YouTube and watch videos as you row – adding some fun entertainment options.
The RW200 doesn’t have a media shelf. So you’d have to buy it separately if you wanted this option.
Also note that the RW200 comes with 20 built-in workouts for some extra challenge. The RW500 model gives you a few more with 30 built-in workouts.
Both rowers come with the option to add iFit Coach. iFit Coach is a very cool streaming technology that you don’t find on a lot of rowing machines today.
It connects your rower to the internet using the Wifi in your home. From there you can do all sorts of fun things like take streaming rowing classes where an instructor leads you through the class.
You can also row famous waterways all over the world and watch the scenery pass you by in your tablet screen.
Want to track your progress? Use iFit Coach to track your workouts over time, set new goals or just see how far you’ve come for some fitness motivation.
Here’s the difference:
With the RW500, you can easily connect with iFit through the included tablet and see the rowing scenery or classes easily from your console.
However, even though Nordictrack advertises the RW200 rower as being iFit compatible, there’s no media shelf or tablet included.
So if you wanted to try iFit, you’d have to buy a separate tablet holder for the console and your own tablet. Then connect to iFit Coach that way.
When you consider the extra expense of doing this, the RW200 doesn’t really give you that much of a price benefit.
Still, if you just want a simple rower without the iFit option (or the media shelf) – you might not care about this too much.
If you get the RW500 through the Manufacturer, as of this writing, you can get a Free 1-year membership to iFit Coach included. So you can enjoy all of the iFit benefits for a full year for free to see if you like them – which is a pretty great deal.
So which is best when it comes to the Nordictrack RW200 vs RW500 Rowing machines?
Well, this really comes down to what you want.
The Nordictrack RW200 has some great comfort features like the molded seat, pivoting pedals and the ability to fold it up.
And while simple, it’s also more affordable than the RW500.
The Nordictrack RW500 rower however does come out ahead in a lot of areas. It gives you all of the construction benefits of the RW200 model.
Plus, the console is bigger and better – showing you more workout feedback than the RW200.
It also gives you the tablet plus media shelf included – so you can connect easily to iFit, take streaming rowing classes or row famous waterways all over the world. Plus it also comes with more resistance levels and more built-in workout options.
So it really comes down to what you prefer at the end of the day.
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Related: Nordictrack RW500 Rower Review