NordicTrack RW900 and Proform Pro R10 are excellent rowing machines from sister brands. While they belong to different price categories, both are heavy-duty equipment fit for interactive training. But which of this two is for you?

The best way to answer this is to compare these models thoroughly. To do this, I’ve identified a few essential comparative factors highlighting the pros and cons of either machine.

Hopefully, after this, you’ll be able to tell which of them deserves a spot in your home gym.

NordicTrack RW900 vs Proform Pro R10

In my opinion, the NordicTrack RW900 is better because it has features that suit my preferences. Specifically, its 22-inch touchscreen makes rowing more immersive, whether you are doing it with iFit or an onboard workout. For me, it’s also a more stable and quieter machine than the Proform Pro R10. It offers more resistance levels and workout options, too.

But then again, my fitness needs are different from yours. The final choice is still up to you.

And so, here’s a table comparing the two based on various rowing machine features. Then, scroll down for more details.

ROWER FEATURESNordicTrack RW900Proform Pro R10
Construction and weight limit115 kg115 kg
Resistance type and levelMagnetic; 26 levelsMagnetic; 24 levels
Exercise programsiFit-enabled with 30 onboard workoutsiFit-enabled without on-board workouts
Seat and seat heightLight padding with minimal contour; 48 cm highLight padding with minimal contour; 38 cm high
Foot pedals and handlebar33-cm footboards with sliding heel pads and Velcro straps; oval and shorter handle30-cm footboards with sliding heel pads and Velcro straps; rounded and longer handle
Flywheel and beltInertia-enhanced flywheel; 90-inch beltInertia-enhanced flywheel; 90-inch belt
Display and program selection22-inch touchscreen; most setting selections are done on the screen10-inch touchscreen; has 11 quick buttons for resistance adjustment
Noise levelLowLow
Other accessoriesTwin 2-inch front speakersTwin 2-inch speakers behind the console
Folding systemNone, but it can be stored uprightSpaceSaver® Design to fold the machine in half
CostExpensiveMore affordable

A. General Features and Engineering

Construction and weight limit

The NordicTrack RW900 and Proform Pro R10 have mostly aluminium and steel parts, making them solid and sturdy machines.

Despite their quality construction, these rowers have the same 115-kg weight capacity.

It is a bit low, considering the average weight limit for rowing machines is around 156 kg.

Both can suit tall users, though, as long as they are within the machine’s user capacity.

Winner: NordicTrack RW900. In terms of design, the RW900 has a wider monorail, which makes the seat look and feel more stable. I also like its rod-like front and back stabilisers better than the inverted U-shaped ones of the Pro R10. I only wish either rower has a higher weight limit to suit even larger users.

Resistance type and level

The NordicTrack RW900 and Proform Pro R10 have a technology called SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance.

It ensures that each rowing stroke is smooth and noise-free.

Both machines also have adjustable magnetic resistance, which you can modify through the touchscreen or console.

However, the RW900 has 26 resistance levels, whereas Pro R10 only has 24.

Winner: Both. Although the Nordic Track rower has more resistance options, both operate smoothly and quietly. Note that magnetic resistance can be limiting for athletes or more experienced rowers. Air or water rowers have unlimited resistance levels, which may suit them better.

Exercise programs

These machines work with iFit. It is a fitness app that lets you access thousands of studio-based or outdoor rowing workouts.

A free 30-day family trial membership comes with every purchase of either machine, giving you lots of time to explore this exemplary app.

I have to say the outdoor routes in both NordicTrack RW900 and Proform Pro R10 are impressive and beautifully recorded.

The crisp display with international scenic locations will motivate you to stick to your rowing routine.

In addition, outdoor programs have an automated resistance adjustment function, so you can focus on rowing and enjoying the view.

You need to sign up for an iFit subscription once the trial expires.

But you can also choose not to and use one of the 30 onboard workouts of the NordicTrack RW900.

TheProform Pro R10 does not have built-in workouts, though.

However, you can use its manual mode and row without an Internet connection.

Winner: NordicTrack RW900. You can use this rower’s free workouts if you do not want to pay for an iFit membership. It is a practical option for users who prefer working out with a personal trainer. But I think subscribing to iFit is best for both RW900 and Pro R10 to make the most of their HD screens.

B. Look and Feel

Seat and seat height

The seats of the NordicTrack RW900 and Proform Pro R10 look virtually the same. Both have minimal contours and light padding.

I particularly like the slight groove at the back of their seats, which support the tailbone, especially when you get to the finish position. Learn more on how to get better at indoor rowing in this post.

These rowing machines differ in seat height, though. The seat of the RW900 is about 48 cm (19 inches) high from the floor, while the Pro R10 is 38 cm (15 inches).

Winner: Both. There is no winner for this factor since seat height depends on your body condition. For instance, I’m petite (about 163 cm), so a 38-cm seat height of the Pro R10 is good enough for me. Taller users or those with mobility issues will likely prefer a higher seat. That way, they can get on and off the rower more easily.

Foot pedals and handlebar

Similar to the monorail seat, the foot pedal design of both rowers looks almost identical.

NordicTrack RW900 has a 33-cm (13-inch) footboard, while Proform Pro R10 is 30 cm long (12 inches).

Each footboard has an ankle or heel pad on top that you can slide up or down to match your foot size.

This sliding pad gives your foot room to bend or flex, especially during the catch phase.

Both rowing machines have nylon straps with Velcro closure to ensure a secure and comfortable fit. I find this type of strap easier to use than clips or plastic ones.

The handlebars of these rowers are slightly different, though. The RW900 has an angled, oval handle, whereas the Pro R10 one is rounder. See my full review of the ProForm Pro R10 Rower.

The texture of their handle is similar to the seat – smooth and not slippery at all. Neither handlebar allows single-arm rowing.

Winner: Proform Pro R10. The foot pedals of both rowers are equally easy to use and comfortable. But the rounded handle of the Pro R10 felt better on my hand. It is also longer, giving you more grip options.

Flywheel and belt

Both NordicTrack RW900 and Proform Pro R10 have an inertia-enhanced flywheel. This part ensures that your rowing strokes are smooth.

The rowing machines also have a 229-cm (90-inch) belt strap attached to the handlebar. This part directly responds to your selected resistance level.

Also, unlike chain belts, this fabric-type belt does not generate noise as you row.

Winner: Both. The RW900 and Pro R10 have the best technology combination for smooth and quiet rowing. However, a fabric-type belt may not suit larger or advanced users as it can lose some tension.

C. Performance and Technology

Display and program selection

The main difference between the NordicTrack RW900 and Proform Pro R10 is in their consoles.

With the RW900, this part is mostly its large-size 22-inch touchscreen.

The only other buttons you’ll see here are the volume controls. Below the screen are two front-mounted speakers.

On the other hand, the Pro R10 console includes a 10-inch touchscreen and 11 quick buttons below for adjusting the resistance. Its speakers are at the back.

Both screens are also adjustable for a better viewing angle. With NordicTrack RW900, you can tilt the screen to avoid overhead glare.

The large knob behind the Proform Pro R10 console lets you move the screen up or down based on your eye level.

In terms of display quality, the RW900 undoubtedly outperforms the Pro R10. iFit workouts are 100% more engaging when complemented with a large screen.

Also, unlike the fixed screen of the Proform Pro R10, you can swivel NordicTrack from side to side.

This functionality is perfect for performing iFit cross-training exercises like yoga.

Winner: NordicTrack RW900. Most users will find a larger screen more appealing, especially those who like interactive training. I especially like that I can rotate or swivel it for non-rowing iFit exercises. I only wish its console had room for quick buttons like the Pro R10, though, for extra convenience.

Noise level

NordicTrack RW900 and Proform Pro R10 have three components that make them ultra-quiet.

These are the SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance technology, inertia-based flywheel and the fabric strap.

All these features work together to make rowing strokes smooth and virtually noise-free.

However, the Pro R10 has a noisier monorail seat than the RW900.

And it’s probably because the wider NordicTrack monorail keeps the seat more stable and quieter.

Winner: Both. While the Proform Pro R10 is slightly louder, either rowing machine produces minimal sounds. Both rowers are ideal for shared spaces and apartments with neighbours.

Other accessories

Neither of these rowing machines has a workout fan, water bottle holder or compartments for holding gadgets.

But both have twin 2-inch speakers.

They also have Bluetooth connectivity, and Proform Pro R10 has an auxiliary port for your headphones.

Winner: Both. These rowers may lack accessories that other models might have, but they have the basics for a good workout. I do prefer the audio speakers of the NordicTrack RW900, though. On top of their digital amplification, the front positioning makes the sound clearer.

D. Buying Considerations

Folding system

Yes, rowers are bulky. So, the SpaceSaver® Design of the Proform Pro R10 is a huge plus, especially for apartment dwellers like me.

I like that it has two large handles to make the machine easier to lift and fold, too.

On the other hand, the NordicTrack RW900 is non-foldable.

However, you can lift its back end and store it upright. The problem is you need enough ceiling height to pull this off.

But both rowers have two front-mounted transport wheels, so you can still move them around if needed.

Winner: Proform Pro R10. I like foldable rowers better than those you can store upright. I’m petite, and I do not think it will be that easy for me to push a bulky machine upwards.


NordicTrack RW900 is a high-end machine that costs $1000 more than the Proform Pro R10.

The price difference, of course, changes, but generally, the mid-range Pro R10 is a more affordable model.

The winner, in this case, depends on your budget and the time you plan to purchase either rower (e.g., during a sales event).


It was more difficult for me to choose between NordicTrack RW900 and Proform Pro R10.

They have so many similar qualities. Plus, they have unique features that I like a lot.

For instance, I prefer the 22-inch screen of the RW900. But I also think the foldable Pro R10 is perfect for my apartment space.

Ultimately, I’d rather spend on the more expensive NordicTrack RW900. Despite its higher cost, I think this machine better offers more workout variety.

It also has a wide range of resistance levels and includes on-board workouts.

And I find these two factors crucial, considering that rowing exercises can be monotonous.

Having more options to diversify my workouts is a good motivation to stick to my rowing routine.

How about you? Which do you think is better?

You may also check out my rowing machine reviews and buying guide next, if you like, for other options.

1. What is iFit membership?

iFit is a fitness training app that works with specific equipment or gadgets. After downloading this workout app, you can access high-energy studio classes and global workouts with the best personal trainers. Purchasing compatible exercise machines, like NordicTrack and Proform, include a free iFit trial for a limited time. Once it expires, the user will have to pay a subscription fee to continue accessing it.

2. Which type of rowing machine is best?

Magnetic, air, water and hydraulic are the four basic types of rowers. Each has its pros and cons. So, finding the best rowing machine means researching and studying different features or specs. But if you’re a beginner, a magnetic rower is typically the best choice as it is lighter, quieter, low maintenance and reasonably priced.

3. Is a rowing machine good for seniors?

For as long as their doctors approve, indoor rowers suit the elderly as these allow low-impact exercises. Rowing can help stimulate the muscles, improve bone density and boost cardio health. It can also enhance the mood, fight depression and address sleeping difficulties. All these benefits, in turn, make seniors less at risk for age-related diseases.