I'm a relatively active outdoors person also with numerous indoor exercise equipment, dislike gym ellipticals, and expected this elliptical would be a minor use item. Was I surprised!
Probably the greatest impediments to most people's exercising are: lack of motivation and time. This mindless, requiring low-motivation (both desirable characteristics) exerciser works excellently with high-wall-hanging TVs, so one can learn or be entertained, while exercising; thus perhaps saving an hour of time daily!
Rowing machines are noisy. Free weights and home weight-gyms cause interrupted flows in viewing due to constant changing of weights and head angles. Treadmills require concentration and has too much bounce to enjoy the shows. Gazelle gliders lack adjustable resistance and also require concentration and has too much bounce. Boxing bags or jumping with ropes cause interruptions and bounce. Gym ellipticals either require my watching boring commonly-watched TV programs or if a small TV is attached, the viewing angle is not directly in front of the eyes, requiring a head adjustment that removes some exercise value. Yoga doesn't require much motion exercise. Indoor bicycling has no arm exercise and bad for posture.
The BF-E1 elliptical is relatively quiet (so I can hear the TV audio), has varying resistance levels (for better workout), is relatively compact (saves space), has extensive exercise modes settings, and even is effective for a 6ft1in guy, as me (I had expected it to appeal primarily to women). Its pedals are well designed for safety because BF-E1's lower sidewalls prevent possible jamming a toe, when one is mindlessly pedaling.
Suitability in house or apartment:
Easy to move around--A,
Compact size--A, (This is particularly valuable where real estate rent is high.)
Quality of mechanics-- A
Ergonomics (how well it fits to body)--B ellipticals, I believe are inherently not ergonomic, and this unit's foot step height, I suspect, may be a bit shorter than gym ellipticals).
Injury prevention--A safety to the point that it's mindless exercise)
Strength building--C ellipticals don't exercise mid-abdomen and the total range of leg and arm motions is limited)
Actual Usage Characteristics
Enhances Personal Motivation--A
Requires minimal exertion-- A
Posture improvement--this is a less obvious benefit. Most other exercisers are difficult to improve posture, and posture improvement is difficult to achieve in outdoor sports. Major health studies show that posture is one of major determining factors in predicting one's health, particularly when one ages. Because the elliptical can be exercised with the head erect and chest upright, using this, with a high-hanging-wall TV can greatly enhance one's posture. BF-E1 is a low effort, low muscular gain exerciser that, when used with a TV, becomes fun and substitutes muscular effort exercises with more time spent exercising. Calories reduction and toning are probably effective.
Because I treat this more as an exerciser-entertainment-learning device than a strict exerciser, I'm not focusing on its control panel capabilities, which is described in other reviews.
Acid reflux issues. Running can aggravate the esophagus, mostly because the stomach acid bounces up and down and hits the esophagus. The elliptical is very smooth, so using it with an empty stomach reduces acid reflux issues. For additional protection, use a sandal on right foot, barefoot on left, and uplift your chest--these will further distance the esophagus from the stomach acid. BF-E1 is smooth and can be used barefooted with great safety.
Mindless operation--and this is excellent, because one can concentrate on other issues. Most of the other exercisers I've tried required discipline and effort. BF-E1 elliptical requires the least discipline, concentration, minimal motivation. And it's very safe, so I can learn or be entertained by TV, while mindlessly exercising barefooted. I own more varieties of indoor and outdoor sports and exercise equipment than anyone I know, and expect to use this elliptical regularly, because it saves time (a major compliment).
3-19-12 addendum-- when installing, use grease to lubricate the arms' spindle pivots and the arms' and leg arms' joints. My unit did not come with grease, but apparently some units do.
Official Amazon review of Best Fitness E1 Elliptical Trainer by Body Solid. Click for additional reviews.