Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer Review

Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer is one of the best cheap elliptical machines on the market. The E40 is not a high-end or mid price elliptical, it’s a budget machine which happens to be a great value for the money. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this machine to anyone who can’t afford to spend more than $400. In fact, for elliptical under $500 price range, we believe the Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer is the second best cross trainer after the ProForm Hybrid Trainer.

You can get a full body workout with this front-drive lightweight compact machine. The Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer has a very smooth and quiet operation with 8 magnetic resistance level and 7 Preset-programs. Universal E40 stride length is 17.5″ fixed which offers a pretty good exercise for trainees with average height. Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer has a compact design with transport wheels which makes it a perfect choice for individuals with small houses and apartments.

The assembly is fairly easy and shouldn’t take maximum 2 hours since the directions are clear and simple to follow. Some wrenches are included with the machine but you would probably also want to use your own tools as well. Universal E40 works with 4 D type batteries and AC adapter which none of them are included.

Batteries are good because they make you independent and allows you to keep the Universal E40 somewhere far from the outlet. The good thing is that you have the option of using your preferred power source.

Here is the deal, as far as the noise goes:
Universal e40 has a quiet operation, not whisper quiet but it wouldn’t bother the rider. If you want to watch TV during the exercise, you might have to turn the volume up just a little to hear better. In case you start hearing a squeaking noise, clean the trails with alcohol and use lubricant.

Universal E40 doesn’t have the cooling fan but it does have two built-in speakers and an AUX port below the console. Therefore, you can connect your MP3 players, portable music players, etc to listen to your favorite music without the headphones. Although, I rather recommend you not to count on the speakers because they are low quality.

You should go for Universal E40 if:

  • You are a novice trainee. Universal E40 elliptical is for entry-level elliptical trainers. It provides a good cardio workout and can help to lose weight or even tone up your body a little. However, it’s not for an intense workout because it’s nor stable for it neither has a durable structure.
  • You can’t stretch your budget to $550+. For elliptical trainers under $500, it’s the best choice unless you want to have both a recumbent and elliptical which in that case I recommend the ProForm Hybrid. Although you need to keep in mind that Proform Hybrid occupies more space and it’s harder to move around.
  • You have a small space living in a condo or apartment. Universal E40 is designed to fit and be used where not much of space is available and that’s one of the selling features of the Universal elliptical. The transport wheels on the front end of the machine make it easy to move the unit around in the house, especially when you use the batteries rather than AC adapter with the cord.
  • You are between 5 to 6.1″ tall. Universal E40 elliptical has a 17.5″ fixed stride which makes the motion more optimal for below 6 feet. Although, taller trainees can still use the elliptical but keep in mind the stride might feel short so, you won’t be able to stretch your arms and legs fully. If you want an adjustable stride elliptical, take a look at the Sole E35.

You should NOT go for Universal E40 if:

  • You are an elite or even intermediate level athlete. I personally wouldn’t recommend Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer for pro-athletes because of it doesn’t offer a challenging workout neither has the durability to take intense training.
  • You want to gain all the benefits of an elliptical machine. Universal E40 doesn’t offer functionalities such as incline ramp to mimic stair climbing or adjustable stride to do longer steps and mimic running. Universal E40 elliptical also doesn’t offer enough resistance to challenge yourself for strength training. Therefore, regardless of your athletic level if you want to benefit more from elliptical training, I recommend you to go with either Sole e35 or HIIT Trainer Pro.
  • Multiple people want to use the Universal E40 elliptical. This compact budget elliptical isn’t sturdy enough to be used more than few hours a week. Smart Strider and AFG 5.5AE would be better options for you if the machine is going to be used for the cardio workout for more than 5-6 hours a week.
  • You want to interact with the virtual environment. Universal E40 elliptical doesn’t have Bluetooth, ANT/+ wireless connection capability. It also doesn’t have the user profile on the console which means you won’t be able to save your daily workout data nor on the web neither on the console.

What is special about Universal E40 Elliptical

  • Brand, most cheap elliptical machines are built by not so reputable brands and usually, these brands aren’t tested. That’s why it’s good to buy your machine from a manufacturer with the good reputation and quality products. The Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer is a branch of Nautilus. Many of us either heard the name or have seen their products around. In case you haven’t heard of Nautilus, look them up and learn more about their product quality.
  • Compact, the Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer is compact and easy to store for those with less space and those who look for the best elliptical for the office.
  • Good materials, steel, aluminum and good quality plastic materials are used for E40, which makes it require less maintenance compared to other cheap ellipticals. It’s also very stable and doesn’t wobble during the training.
  • Optional Power Adapter, Universal E40 elliptical trainer can operate on battery power or AC power. For AC power, it is necessary to order the optional Power Adapter. Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer uses 4 D type batteries which can help you save on the electricity bill.
  • Happy consumers, Universal E40 elliptical has the highest user rating on Amazon for the cheap elliptical machines under $500. There is barely anyone who isn’t happy with Universal E40 Elliptical, unlike many other elliptical trainers in this price range.


Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer offers 8 quiet and magnetic resistance. You might think the 8 resistance levels is not enough to push harder and burn more calories, however, some users find it even challenging. The magnetic resistance is very quiet and requires way less maintenance compared to other types of tensions.

The resistance can be adjusted from the console through the push of buttons. You can also see the level of your resistance on the console as you exercise.

Stride and Incline

Universal E40 stride length is 17.5 inches, which can provide a good exercise for users between 5 feet to 6 feet two inches. Taller trainees can also use the E40 elliptical however, their stride will be shorter so, it’s kind of a matter of preferences. If you the short stride doesn’t bother you, you can use the E40 Universal machine.

The Universal E40 stride is not adjustable, unlike more expensive ellipticals. However, for this price, it’s not a surprise to see the lack of these features.

Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer doesn’t have incline ramp so the rider can’t exercise hill climbing or add more challenge to the workout.


Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer has a very basic LCD display that runs on batteries. So, the trainee doesn’t need to look for a power outlet to plug in the machine. You can track all your necessary workout information on the display. The drawback is that there is no back-lit on the display, which means you can’t easily see the values in a dark room. The left bottom corner of the LCD displays the battery indicators to let you know the battery percentage.

Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer, review
Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer Console and handlebars

Here is a list of information you can track on the display, the numbers are big and easy to read.

  • Heart Rate,
  • Time
  • RPM
  • Speed
  • Distance
  • Resistance level

Note: E40 elliptical trainer is not compatible with the wireless chest strap. The heart is measured from the pulse sensors located on the stationary handlebars.

There are 7 preset programs on Universal E40 console to help you lose weight faster and do a better cardio workout. Rolling Hills, Ride in the Park, Pike’s Peak, Pyramids, Uphill Finish, Cross-Trainer and Quick Start are the preset-programs that you can choose from.

Cooling fan and speaker
It doesn’t have a cooling fan but has the speakers below the console. You can plug in your MP3 player or iPad and listen to your favorite music through the dual built-in speakers. However, according to some users, the speaker is not great quality. You can’t change the volume through the console and can only do so from your device.

Bluetooth and user profile
Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer doesn’t have User Profile to save data and Bluetooth connectivity to interact with Apps. Therefore, you can track or save your daily workout.

Handlebars and pedals

Universal E40 elliptical machine offers both static and moving hand-grips to offer upper and lower body workout. The moving handlebars have at least two grip-position. However, they don’t have heart rate monitors or built-in controls to change resistance. I don’t know of any budget elliptical with controls on the grips. So, I recommend you not to be disappointed with the lack of this feature.

The static handlebars allow you to work on your core and lower body alone, they also have the pulse sensors for heart rate.

E40 elliptical machine has large size non-slip foot pedals with a security guard all around to keep the exerciser stable during the exercise.

More information on Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer

Customer Service ★★☆☆☆Power Source: AC & D Batteries
Warranty ★★★☆☆Flywheel:13.2 Lbs
Average Rating ★★½☆☆Programs7
Machine Weight:91 LbsFolding:NO
Dimensions:59"L X 22"W X 64"HSpeakerYES
Max user weight:275 LbsCooling FanNO
Resistance: 8-Level Bidirectional:Yes
Incline Ramp:NOBottle Holder:Yes
Stride Length:17.5" FixedMedia Shelf No

Flywheel and drive
E40 elliptical features a perimeter-weighted 13.2 lbs flywheels. It’s more than you can ask for this price range. The weight is not bad at all for magnetic resistance system, plus its perimeter, which means the weight is distributed around the wheel for smooth, consistent motion. This machine features belt drive which makes the operation quiet with less maintenance required.
What’s included

  • Water bottle holder
  • Media rack
  • Foot Levelers
  • Transport wheels
  • Transport handle
  • Warranty and weight capacity:
  • 3-Year frame
  • 1-Year mechanical and electronic parts
  • 60-Day wear items.
  • Maximum User Weight 275 lbs

Things you can purchasing with Universal E40 elliptical:

  • 4 D batteries for the console,
  • Alcohol to clean the rails and wheels
  • Lubricant to reduce friction between moving parts and get rid of the squeaking
  • Mat to protect your floor from sweat and possible scratch
  • AC Adapter to use instead of batteries
  • Wireless Chest strap to track a more accurate heart rate on your watch, phone or tablet.


We believe the Universal E40 Elliptical Trainer is one of the best elliptical machines under $500. However, there is lack of some functionalities but you can’t beat the price. The features missing such as incline, adjustable stride, App connectivity are what you usually find on more expensive machines.

So, unless you can afford to spend $1000+ we (best elliptical machine hut) recommends you not to look for all the elliptical functionalities in this price range. The E40 with 7 programs and 8 magnetic resistance and good quality parts and frame provides you a really good cardio workout. E40 also has the option to plug into electricity or use batteries.

It allows you to put the machine where you want, not where the power outlet is. It’s quiet and compact and that’s another reason the E40 Universal elliptical is perfect for inside the home and office use. However, the lack of Bluetooth and ANT wireless connection features don’t allow you to save your daily workout data on the web. It also means the console doesn’t connect to the wireless chest strap.


if you hold the static handlebars, the console displays the heart rate. It isn’t very accurate though. if you want to receive a more accurate heart rate result, I suggest you get a wireless chest strap which is capable of pairing up with your phone/tablet or watch through Bluetooth and ANT+ connection and track your heart rate on your device’s screen. If this Universal E40 elliptical trainer review doesn’t cover your answers, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


  • Magnetic resistance
  • Okay warranty length
  • Reputable brand and great rating on Amazon
  • Affordable price
  • Large foot pedals
  • Fairly sturdy frame and good quality parts
  • It has speakers and Media tray
  • iPad and MP3 port
  • Transport wheels, transport handle, foot levelers for uneven floors
  • Compact design


  • Doesn’t have an incline
  • Stride is fixed
  • LCD is not back-lit
  • You can’t track data on the screen if you place your device on the tray
  • User weight capacity is only 275-lb
  • The console doesn’t have USB data transfer and charger
  • Universal E40 doesn’t have Bluetooth or ANT+ connection capability
  • The speakers are low-quality
  • It doesn’t have the cooling fan
  • The AC Adapter isn’t included

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.