You've got to hand it to Stamina. If your budget is limited you have a heck of a lot of models to choose from in their range. At the last count, we've reviewed a dozen of their models and, on the whole, you'll get a good model for a good price if you're requirement aren't too demanding.
So what about this offering from Stamina? We'll say up front it's an hydraulic rower so if you're already in shape, strong or want to use a rowing machine to get seriously fit, then move along, there's nothing to see here as you're better off using the other types of resistance.
We've written elsewhere on this site about the disadvantages of hydraulic pistons, you can read the full article here, but briefly, the resistance levels can drop when the piston gets hot (usually after 15 to 20 minutes), they can become uneven when there's two as in this model, and they can leak with wear and tear. However, if you only intend to use your rower up to three times a week, and for periods of less than twenty minutes, then a hydraulic model can last for several years.
If you're still reading then you'll be looking for a gentle to moderate workout to help you get back to a reasonable level of fitness. And if you're recovering from an injury or illness, or have been inactive for too long, then a model like this can introduce you to rowing - an excellent, all-over body workout for all your muscle groups. And what's more, rowing if done correctly is very safe - see here for advice on technique.
Moving on. The seat is a very good one with a little support for your pelvis. It sits securely on a very low, sturdy rail. But while the low position gives it a solid feel, if you have knee or lower back problems you might find it awkward to get on or off it. The specification states a maximum user weight of 150 lbs although as the machine only weighs 49 lbs itself, we wouldn't want to test that limit :0)
The footrests are adequate and should keep all but the biggest feet in place. They also pivot which helps you keep the correct position when rowing.
The pistons attached to the long handles have a collar (see picture on right) which can be turned to select on of twelve resistance levels. This has to be matched on both pistons but we didn't noticed a huge difference in the highest and lowest settings. The action is smooth and quiet, but if you're broad across the shoulders you might find the handle hold a bit limiting. The handles themselves are well-padded and hand blisters shouldn't be a problem.
This is a compact model so if space is limited this could be a good choice. But if you're over 6' 0" we'd suggest you look for another machine. You could use it, but the results would be limited as you'll struggle to get a full stroke on the short rail.
If you match the criteria of user we've mentioned above this could be a good place to start your rowing regime. But if you're looking to get in great shape and row on a daily basis check our other reviews.