I've had experience with a Concept 2 rower and an Ergatta rower, and the Hydrow rower felt quite different — not to mention, it looks sleeker, since it doesn't house a fan or water vestibule. The seat is high, and I liked that it felt like I was sitting up taller. There are several more inches between the footbeds (six inches as compared to 2.5 on the Ergatta), so having the extra space between my feet felt a little weird at first, but I got used to it. I did notice that after rowing for 10 minutes or so, or if I was really pushing my pace, the foot straps would loosen while rowing (more than while using other rowers, in my experience), but I remedied that by wrapping the end of the strap underneath the strap that went across the top of my foot.
The giant touchscreen is incredible. During guided workouts, the screen shows different camera views, which made the experience feel more exciting and realistic. You can also see your stats right on the screen, such as your split (pace), strokes per minute (S/M), and meters rowed. The instructor will tell you how many S/M to aim for, and for how long. I liked that I didn't have to keep track of interval times, since they would call out each one. I did find that the S/M they recommended often felt too slow for me, so I just adjusted my pace to make it feel harder.
As far as the actual feel of the rower, the seat movement is extremely fluid and smooth, and it's really quiet, since there's no fan or water swishing around. The handle is comfortable, and you can adjust the drag to make it harder or easier to pull — although Hydrow suggests keeping the drag set to 104 to simulate being on the water. At that setting, I definitely felt like it was harder than other rowers I've used, but that just made me even more mindful about my rowing form, ensuring I was really pushing with my heels to avoid straining my back. After my first few workouts using Hydrow, my upper body and butt were super sore, even though I was used to rowing on a different machine.
The one thing I would improve? I wish was possible was to pause a workout. Sometimes I'd need to wipe sweat or hair from my face, or tend to my dog or kiddo. If I was working on beating my overall time for, say, a 10K row, I knew it wouldn't be accurate if I was taking a break from rowing and the time just kept going.