When you see the price on a brand new Gardena R80Li robomower, it may send you scurrying back to the gasoline-driven hand-propelled mower you were looking to replace, but there are justifications for the cost. Gardena is the bestselling brand of automated lawnmower in Europe, and part of the reason is that it's a silent runner. It's not going to annoy your neighbors (or your family) if it starts running early on a Saturday morning, unless your neighbors are unusually noise sensitive. It cuts evenly and turns your grass into a fine mulch that disappears between the remaining blades, which – despite years of mowers with grass-catcher bags that need to be dumped into the compost bin every time they fill up – is actually the recommended way to cut your grass.
And Gardena mowers, assuming you give them a little polishing every now and then, are quite attractive, little sports cars that run around your lawn like Indy 500 drivers that have decided not to bother following the track. The R80Li can shave your grass to heights ranging between 0.7" to 2", and you can change the height with a simple twist of a knob. The unit is weather-proofed and works through rain, so you don't have to worry that your grass won't get cut during the rainy season (which is usually when it's going to do the most growing). The Gardena mowers are designed to be energy efficient, so you'll save on your electric bill and help save the environment.
The R80Li isn't entirely without flaws, though. It requires that you bury a perimeter wire to find its way around the parts of the lawn that you want it to cut. This isn't unusual, but it reportedly doesn't handle the boundary wire well, floundering a bit while it orients itself next to one. Those who take issue with the R80Li's boundary-line disorientation may prefer the considerably cheaper Worx Landroid, which seems to recognize the boundary wire immediately without the need for additional programming support.
Amazing machine! There is nothing to complain about. Minimal maintenance.
It will carry out the scheduled mowing even if it’s pouring rain... It has no major shortcomings besides the rain sensor, but it's quite expensive for a mid range robot.