The Sunny ASUNA 4500 rowing machine is the next step up in the Sunny Health & Fitness range. We've reviewed many from this budget brand and, for the price, some of their models offer great value for money - see below. So now they're looking to compete with the mid-priced boys with the ASUNA range, how do they compare?
Well there's good and there's bad. It could be down to teething problems but there may be a reliability issue with the first models on the market. This is a shame, because the 4500 does have some good points which, if they can sort the quality out, makes this worth a look.
So from the top. The machine takes around 35 minutes to assemble and doesn't require a degree in mechanical engineering to complete.
Next, the all-important rowing position - if it ain't comfortable you ain't going to use it! The seat is good and all but the most endowed in the butt department should find it sufficient. The seat is quite low so those with problem knees or lower backs may find it a bit of a struggle to get on and off - but this is the same for most models in this price range.
The handle is well-padded and has a good diameter to make it comfortable to grip as it won't slip or move in your palms to give you blisters.
The footrests will hold your feet firmly in place and tilt as you zoom up and down the angled beam. However, a number of users found the seat rollers started to squeak after a month or twos use - this wasn't resolved using lubricant but doesn't effect the action to the point you can't use it.
The beam is long and suitable for users up to 6' 2" to get through a full stroke.
For those with limited space, the ASUNA 4500 can be tilted and moved on the built-in wheels at the front, then folded vertically to be stored away.
Now onto the mechanism that provides the resistance for your muscles to work against. This is a magnetic rowing machine so that means it;s quiet (but does mean you can hear the seat squeak!) But not to worry because the advantage is that the pre-set programs can control the resistance levels to give a challenging workout - see below for more on the programs and one of the issues that currently let this rower down.
All good so far, but... Two of our reviewers had problems with the console - it flashes and switches off. And when you have a totally magnetic rowing machine controlling the resistance, when the console doesn't work, the whole machine is useless. It's about as useful as a top-of-the range BMW with a flat battery!
At this price there are a number of other worthy rowing machines in direct competition - see 'Also worth a look' below. This would be an easy model to recommend if we knew for certain that the problems with the console had been resolved. It could be a faulty batch that has since been fixed - as soon as we find out we'll update this review.