Sunny Under Desk Treadmill Slim Work Office Treadmill Base Review
- Forensic Review
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This Sunny “Under Desk Treadmill Slim Work Office Treadmill” is being marketed on Amazon as being usable with any standing desk to create a treadmill desk workstation. However, just putting these keywords in the advertising doesn’t make it a viable under-desk treadmill. To make the unit super small, lightweight and portable, Sunny constructed it with an exceptionally short and narrow walking area (39″x14″). There isn’t even a picture or video of this unit being used in a treadmill desk setup because it’s virtually impossible to do so, yet the marketing copy claims that it was designed for the task because Sunny is simply trying to capture sales from gullible US consumers. Speed control is through a wireless handheld controller, while the display readout is built into the motor housing,which you can even see if the unit is under your desk. With a top speed of 3.75 mph, a Mickey Mouse 1.5 hp motor and a max user rating of 220 lbs. the unit is severely underpowered for the application of a treadmill desk, and will burn out in months, if not weeks. The 55 lbs. weight is about 1/3rd of what a legitimate office treadmill would weigh, and the thin metal frame only has a three year warranty instead of the usual lifetime warranty. As for all the other components that really matter, like the motor, controller board, deck and walking belt? A 180 day warranty is the shortest we’ve ever seen, which tells you everything you need to know about how quickly this unit will find its way to the landfill. Bottom line: pure marketing fraud.
|MSRP / List Price||$370|
Free shipping to continental U.S.
3 year on the structural frame
Wireless handheld remote control for speed control. Display readout is built into the motor housing (not visible through a standing desk).
|Walking Belt Size||
39″ L X 14″ W
50″ L X 21.5″ W X 6.5″ H
1.5 Peak HP
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
|Competition||Compare to All Standalone Under-Desk Treadmill Bases|
|User Reviews||Be sure to read the 1-star reviews on Amazon before clicking Buy|
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Suitability for Treadmill Desking|
|Positives||Absolutely nothing positive to note about this fraudulently marketed "under desk treadmill."|
|Negatives||So small, so underpowered, that the unit isn't likely to last anywhere near as long as its 6-month warranty before burning out. Way too narrow to use as a treadmill desk.|
Joke of a Treadmill, at Your Expense
If you have read many of our reviews, especially on office treadmill bases, you know that we are sticklers about manufacturing quality. We have reviewed a number of these Chinese-made “walking pad” products available to online shoppers and, at least so far, none of them come even remotely close to what we would recommend for the treadmill desking application. On the other hand, they also rarely fail as spectacularly as the Sunny Health & Fitness Slim Walking Pad Treadmill.
We haven’t gotten one in our lab for testing yet, but the manufacturer-provided information on the electromechanical specifications, plus the verified customer reviews, leave us gasping and wincing like we are watching a complication of extreme sport fails on Youtube. And the people left in pain (financial, physical, or both) are those who fall for Sunny’s fallacious marketing ploys.
A Walking Pad, Not a Treadmill
As we explain in our roundup of all the under-desk treadmills we have reviewed, there is a distinction between treadmills that are meant to be used in an office setting for hours a day and those that can only handle tiny bursts of activity. This “treadmill” from Sunny fits directly in the walking pad category, as it is very lightweight (in comparison to real treadmills), is meant to easily move out of the way when not in use, the display readout is literally underneath the desk where you can’t see it, and has a tiny, weak frame and walking deck that are ill-suited for the demands of real treadmill desking.
With the display on the front of the walking pad itself, it will be under your desk and therefore completely useless. This is a common feature of products that don’t actually have office use in mind. Of course that never stopped a commodity-grade Chinese fitness equipment manufacturer from inserting the keywords “treadmill desk” in their Amazon product titles.
To make it so lightweight and inexpensive, the manufacturers of treadmills like the Sunny Slim Office Treadmill, use cheap plastic and metals that are prone to snapping or bending. That doesn’t come as a shock to us when we see a treadmill like this, and in this price range. It is also not a surprise that because of all this, despite its failings, it seems to have sold pretty well on Amazon, like many cheap Chinese office fitness products we see.
Cheap Materials = Cheap Product = Cheap Performance
Aside from getting you an extremely affordable product, the use of these low-quality materials results in other limitations that you should consider before buying a treadmill for use at your standing desk.
The weight limit is a measly 220 lbs, and we recognize that not everyone who would consider this is heavier than that, but lots of potential users are going to be approaching or exceeding that weight (since one of the main reasons for wanting an office treadmill is to either lose weight or keep it from growing). And like anything with a motor (like this tiny 1.5 HP motor), the more stress you put on it, even if it is under the recommended weight, the faster the parts are going to fail.
This cheap construction is especially apparent in their warranty, a laughable 180-day policy on the components that are most likely to fail. The frame coverage is also only a short 3 years, which is strange since you would want sturdy metals to last much longer. Most bonafide office treadmills like the Unsit or Lifespan units come with a lifetime warranty on the frame.
Pretty much as a side effect of using these light and inexpensive materials, this Sunny treadmill is marketed as being easy to move around on its caster wheels and store under a bed or sofa when not in use. Assuming that bed or sofa has enough room underneath to easily stow something that’s 6.5” in height, which is frankly pretty uncommon. While this might be a legit claim, it is just a distraction from the fact that this walking pad is not going to last long or perform how an office worker would need.
Enough Space for Walking?
The walking surface of this treadmill is extremely diminutive, so much so that all but the most Lilliputian of users won’t be able to use it at all. Even the fitness model they have using it in their demonstration video is barely keeping her small shoes within the narrow confines of the belt.
Many users report banging their toes on the edges as they try to achieve a natural stride. Walking treadmills need to be at least 20 inches wide (some even go up to 30” wide), the Sunny Slim Walking Pad Treadmill is only 14 inches wide. Gulp. It’s a doggie treadmill, not a people treadmill.
Treadmill User Reviews
It isn’t just us that sees all these flaws in the Sunny Slim Under Desk Treadmill. There are plenty of reviews that point out common failures in the walking pad once it arrives at their home. Some point out parts that are broken on arrival that they had to replace or glue together. One even said that it would just shut down after 10 seconds of use. Several reported the belt shifting drastically on the rollers and not being able to get them back, which is no surprise given the flexibility of this ultralight, thin-metal frame. Rigidity is paramount in any treadmill design lest the frame flex so much that it becomes nigh impossible to keep the belt from sliding around.
Customer service is another common complaint in reviews, and with such poor performance in so many other areas, you would think they could at least get enough practice to know what customers need.
One interesting complaint we saw was that the data that the treadmill tracks disappears when it shuts down, which occurs about every 90 minutes, presumably to let the overheated motor cool down. Because of this, it is impossible to track your health data throughout the entire day.
If you couldn’t tell from everything else we have said, we aren’t huge fans of the Sunny Health and Fitness Slim Under Desk Treadmill. Yes, it is one of the cheapest options out there, even among walking pads. However, with the plethora of problems you are more than likely to encounter, you are going to want to invest a bit more in a treadmill that will actually last you long enough to get some health benefits out of it. This one will get schlepped out to the city dump in no time, causing you to buy another more expensive unit the next time around that’ll have a greater longevity.
Be sure to check out some of our other standing desk treadmill reviews to help you find the best one for your ergonomic workstation.
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