JLL have a fierce reputation in the home fitness market for creating great products at reasonable prices, so we took the JLL S400 on test for 3 weeks. Find out what we thought and whether or not it is worth the investment right here in our full JLL S400 Folding Treadmill review.
The JLL S400 is the latest 2020 model in the S series line up of JLL’s folding treadmills. Following on from the much-loved S300, the S400 didn’t need to go far to impress and continue its predecessor’s success. Upon first inspection it certainly appears as if UK-based JLL have taken previous user feedback on board and improved on the previous version’s flaws and brought to market something very appealing.
The JLL S400 looks like a beautiful piece of kit and will fit right into a home gym setup or even look great in your box room or garage. Thanks to its folding design you can achieve a pretty compact non-use setup for it and can also move it to a corner of a room pretty easily thanks to its transport wheels.
Although looks are not the most important factor to consider when purchasing a new treadmill, they do play a part and from top to toe the S400 looks like a premium treadmill thanks to its robust frame and impressive centre console. The powered incline settings also give it a certain degree of sophistication and are particularly smooth in operation as are the soft-folding hydraulics.
JLL S400 Specifications
The S400 sees one key improvement over the S300 and that is that the running area is both longer and wider. Measuring up at 135cm lengthways by 45cm wide, the S400 has the largest running area of the entire JLL range and compares very favourably to its rivals (even those at a higher price).
This will be great news to runners with longer strides and those who prefer a bit more width for extra peace of mind when running at higher speeds or with weary legs – a welcome improvement.
The treadmill is powered by a 2.5hp DC continuous motor that is capable of peak power output of up to 4.5hp for incline running at higher speeds.
The top speed of the S400 is 16KM/H and there are 20 levels of incline to contend with. The speed and incline settings are fully adjustable and can be used as part of a pre-set programme or controlled manually using the centre console – everything is powered for you and the smoothness between incline and speed settings is very smooth indeed.
The maximum incline setting is 12% (which is 26cm higher than the floor) and this is more than enough to give you a really challenging workout.
There are 15 pre-set running programmes to choose from with an additional 3 custom programmes that users can create. There is also a heart rate programme that will allow you to train at your target heart rate and this can be tracked using the built-in heart rate sensors. We compared the built-in heart rate monitor to a Whoop band heart rate monitor and found it be fairly accurate, which is handy as there is no way of connecting an external heart rate monitor to this treadmill.
There is a maximum user weight of 120kg and the treadmill features a 16-point cushioned deck. This really does allow for a lower-impact run (or walk) and is great for anyone who is suffering with their joint health or looking to prolong their joints for as long as possible (never a bad thing).
The S400 is pretty compact considering its generous running area. When unfolded it requires 170cm (l) x 70cm (w) 134cm (h) of space and when folded its dimensions become 110cm (l) x 70cm (w) 134cm (h). It’s pretty impressive that JLL are able to shave 60cm off the length of the treadmill when it’s not in use and they do so seemingly without compromising on functionality.
The central display, computer and speakers also see the S400 get an upgrade over its predecessor thanks to a slightly larger 5.5″ bright LCD screen and much improved speakers with MP3, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
JLL S400 In Use
We got to grips with the JLL S400 in the Fitness Brain office for a period of just over 3 weeks and in that time we fell a little bit in love with it.
It should be said that the S400 is not perfect. It has a severe lack of a dedicated media device holder and the drink holder is hardly in the optimal position – but that being said, they are too pretty small faults when you are talking about a treadmill that is not going to break the bank but gives some of the high-priced premium priced players a run for their money.
The first thing you will need to do is to take delivery of and build the S400. This may seem like a pretty obvious statement, but this is a pretty heavy piece of kit (sorry, we didn’t weigh it so not sure exactly how heavy), and although it comes delivered in two boxes – one for the main frame and one for the screen and other accessories – it is still likely you will require two people to move it to your location of choice and you will definitely need two people to build it.
Luckily the building and installation process is pretty painless and the well-written and illustrated manual will have you up and running in no time.
The build quality of the JLL S400 folding treadmill is excellent. It is hard to imagine a more robust treadmill whether folding or otherwise. The soft close hydraulic folding mechanism makes it really easy to fold up and down without requiring a great deal of strength and without worrying about damaging the unit.
This treadmill has all the basics that you would expect which of course also include the safety shut-off clip which you should attach to yourself when using.
The centre console is pretty intuitive to use and will pose no problems to anyone who has used a treadmill before. The buttons are well positioned for those who prefer manual control and the 15 pre-set programmes can all be adjusted to your own difficulty level and provide a good range of workout types including those suitable for stamina, speed and HIIT workouts.
It is a shame that there is no way of connecting a third-party heart rate monitor, especially considering there is already good Bluetooth functionality built in, but then the built-in pulse rate monitors found on the main arms do a very good job and seemed fairly accurate in our testing.
The running track is more than sufficient for even the tallest of runners and the deck itself provides a good level of shock absorption, which is ideal for making your running as low impact as possible. Moving between incline settings is seamless and the highest inclines will test even the most experienced runners and provide excellent opportunities for burning energy at a higher rate.
The S400 has a pretty decent level of connectivity when it comes to playing your music. Music playback and speakers in cardio equipment are not things we usually get too excited about, but in this case it is certainly worth mentioning.
The speakers are of a good quality are a significant improvement over those found in the S300. Not only that but the control you have over your music can be fully controlled using the console buttons when using Bluetooth or USB, and if you prefer there is also an AUX port for playing directly from your phone or laptop.
Quite simply, the S400 is a joy to use and considering the affordable price tag it is one of the most appealing for home users. Of course, this machine would not last long in a commercial setting without regular maintenance, but for home use it is likely to last for many years and likely decades.
Another key aspect we love about the JLL S400 is that it is a product made and sold by a UK company and it ships from the JLL warehouse in Birmingham.
They have top-notch support which is also UK-based (we called them to check) and they also back the S400 with a pretty impressive warranty. There is a lifetime warranty on the frame of the S400, 5 years of coverage on the motor and 2 years warranty on all other parts and labour. This is going further than most standard warranties and if the impressive customer reviews weren’t enough to convince you that this is a safe purchase then at least the warranty should.
JLL S400 Verdict
The JLL S400 is a significant improvement on the already excellent S300 and is backed by an even more impressive warranty. Considering the affordable price tag you get an awful lot for your money with the S400 and its impressive specifications and features are backed up by it performing well when in use.
If you can deal with the minor niggles over poor placement of the drink holder and the lack of device storage then this could well be a steal.
It provides a good workout for beginners and intermediate-level runners alike, and if you are looking for really controlled workouts that are easy on the joints and on the wallet then the JLL S400 could well be just what you are looking for.