The full name for this model is Stamina InMotion Rower 35-0123 (do they just make these names up? Apparently it's because using it is as easy as 1-2-3). In our view, we don't consider this to be a rowing machine, but following a number of requests we decided to include it on this website.
The design is a little like the rider fitness machines that were around in the 90's, although easier to use. Sunny Fitness have a similar model (we'll probably review this one soon).
So if it's not really a rowing machine - what is it? And could you get fit using one?
Let's start with getting it out of the box. Some assembly is required, but even the most 'DIY' challenged person can manage this one. It takes only around 20 minutes and then you just sit on it and 'row'. The seat is okay we guess considering the price, but if you're close to the 250 lbs weight limit you will find it uncomfortable - it isn't a large seat. See tips on how to improve your seat here.
The rowing position is okay, but as we mentioned earlier, the action doesn't replicate rowing on water. This isn't a problem if you're just looking for a machine to stay in shape (although this does have its limitations - see below). The foam grips on the handle make for a comfortable hold, but we doubt anyone would be able to use it for long periods for blisters to become a problem anyway.
The foot rests pivot which is essential for a model with this sort of action. The wide straps do the job fine of holding your feet in place, but as with all velcro, it loses its grip if not get free of fluff.
A single piston under the central column provides the resistance for your muscles to pull. The majority of budget rowers use hydraulics for the resistance mechanism because they're inexpensive. Pistons all suffer from the same problem with prolonged use - please see here for the advantages and disadvantages of hydraulic rowing machines.
You can select any of the 5 resistance levels to increase the workload. This is done by changing the position of the piston on the central column attached to the handles. This does mean you have to stop rowing to adjust the difficulty which is inconvenient if you're getting warmed up in your workout.
The angle of the beam helps to increase the work rate of your legs, but it doesn't do much for the action - it's definitely not a smooth ride!
Any machine costing around hundred bucks is obviously going to be limited in what it can deliver. At best, you'll get a compact machine that will give your cardio-vascular system a short workout. But if you really want to get fit with a rowing machine, you'll need to spend at least three times as much.