Razer Atheris Review: Portability and Quality on a Budget

Don’t forget to get a premium-quality mouse the next time you hit the road. If you are looking for one, check out the Razer Atheris – a gaming mouse designed with travelling gamers in mind.

Razer is a household name in the gaming industry – loved by some, hated by many, envied by most, yet wanted by all. Company’s products manage to resist the fierce competition and scoop multiple hardware prizes every year.

If you read some discussion threads regarding Razer-branded peripherals, you will see players swearing by their quality as well as customers claiming that Razer merchandise does not justify its price tag. I have to admit that there is a grain of truth in both statements. That is why we, at RealGear carefully pick the products that deserve your attention and hard-earned money.

In this regard, I am glad to introduce the worthy successor of Orochi – the Atheris gaming mouse. If you are constantly on the go, the Atheris can be your faithful wireless companion during your road trips or journeys across the pond. It is also a good fit for casual gamers who have smaller hands and need a tiny, lethal weapon for shooter style games at a fair price.

Razer Atheris Ambidextrous Wireless Mouse
  • 5 Programmable Buttons: Allows for button remapping and assignment of complex macro functions through Razer Synapse 3
  • Durable Mechanical Switches: Supports up to 50 million clicks, backed by a 2 year
  • High-Precision 7200 DPI Optical Sensor: Offers on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment and 1000 Hz ultrapolling in a compact and mobile form-factor
  • 350 Hour Battery Life: Supports wireless, extended gaming sessions using swappable 2x AA batteries (included)

Design and Ergonomics

The moment I took the Atheris in my hand, I could not help but notice how small and light it is.

Fingertip and claw grip players – this mouse is meant for you. If you are used to controlling your rodent with tiny fingertip movements – this mouse might be your perfect match. Claw grip users will not see any issues unless their hands are too large.

I personally have large hands and the Atheris felt a bit small in my paw. I am mainly a palm gripper and the mouse literally disappeared under my hand. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that palm grippers will find the Atheris totally useless, but if you are a palm grip user and you prefer larger mice, you will probably be better off with purchasing a Razer Naga Epic Chroma, for example.

Razer Atheris is a symmetrical mouse. You get the same experience when you use it with your right or left hand. According to Razer, the mouse is ambidextrous, but this is not entirely true, at least not button-wise. There are 2 side buttons placed on the left side of the mouse. They are intended to be pressed with your thumb. Lefties will find them difficult to control and unnaturally placed.

The mouse body is plastic and has a matte coating. This kind of material is notorious for being a bit slippery. That is why Razer has added textured rubber side grips. The rubber is neither soft, nor hard, and prevents your fingers from accidental slips.

The company logo is engraved on the back of the mouse. Strangely enough, it is not colored in green. It does not have any RGB lighting either – quite a subtle branding approach.

The Atheris weighs only 66g / 0.14 lbs (without the batteries). When you add the batteries, it feels much heavier.

Button Layout

The Atheris possesses 5 buttons. Razer describes them as ‘Hyperesponse’ buttons. That is Razer’s proprietary technology for improving buttons’ sensitivity and enhancing one’s gameplay sessions.

The left and right mouse buttons are placed in their standard positions. There is nothing out of the ordinary here. If it is of any help, the buttons produce a satisfying click.

There are 2 additional buttons placed on the left side of the mouse. By default, they are bound to browser navigation controls – back and forward. You can change their functionality by using the Razer Synapse 3 software that is free to download.

The 5th button is placed right behind the scroll wheel. Its default purpose is to make the DPI switching a no-brainer. If you wish, you can assign a different command via the Synapse 3 software.

If the above buttons are not enough for you, you can use the scroll wheel as a button as well. It functions as the standard 3rd mouse button.

The scroll wheel is non-tiltable and requires more power to press. When you roll it, you will feel that there is no free scroll; it works on small defined steps. To improve the grip, Razer has put small raised bumps on the wheel, so no accidental slips are possible.

Mouse Connectivity – Wireless & Bluetooth

You can connect the Razer Atheris to your laptop or desktop via Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz USB wireless dongle. The connectivity mode is switched via a button on the bottom of the mouse. There are pros and cons of using either mode, though.

If you want your battery to last longer, you should use Bluetooth to connect your mouse. This option gives you the unmatched 350 hours of continuous gameplay, with only one pair of AA batteries. However, if you stick to this option, you will have a polling rate of 250 Hz. That equals to a 4-millisecond lag, and to some players, especially those who are into competitive FPS gaming, this is an unacceptably high number. To preserve battery Razer has implemented some sort of an idle mode. Wakeups will always cause some sort of a delay in the first move or click after idling. To me, this is not a big deal, but some of you might find it a bit annoying. It is impossible to adjust the polling rate to any higher value or disable sleeping during idle.

If you want to play competitively, you would want to switch to the other option – the 2.4GHz wireless connection. The mouse comes with a small USB dongle that enables wireless connectivity. This allows you to utilize a polling rate of 500Hz, or even 1000Hz. At these values, you should not feel any lag while gaming. The movement and click signals will be transmitted to the computer with 2 or 1 millisecond delay, respectively. This is a professional grade rate, so no gameplay crippling due to mouse lag whatsoever.

However, there is no free lunch, and the high polling rate comes with a price. The batteries will drain faster, so make sure you have a spare pair in case you need a quick replacement. Also, you must sacrifice a USB port to put the dongle in.

I would recommend you use Bluetooth for productivity tasks and casual gaming, and switch to the wireless mode whenever you need a higher-grade signal transmission. This way, your battery juice will be optimized.

This is the second mouse where Razer has implemented the so-called “Adaptive Frequency Technology” (AFT). What AFT does is it scans the transmission frequencies and Wi-Fi signal noise around you. If it detects a risk of any interference to the signal by any external device, it changes the mouse signal transmission frequency to a “cleaner” channel. The switching is seamless, and you will not feel any disruption at all. I cannot tell if that worked, there is no way to test it on purpose, my connection was 100% stable all the time.

For those of you who are wondering, the other mouse with an AFT at the time of writing is Razer Lancehead.

Atheris’ Sensor, DPI, IPS

The optical sensor that Razer has put in the Atheris is an optical one. Its DPI can be adjusted between 800 and 7200 on-the-fly, by using the small button placed behind the mouse wheel. There are 5 different DPI settings available, they can also be tweaked via the Synapse 3 software.

Optical sensors tend to work very well on cloth pads, and deliver glitchy performance on hard pads. To all travelers – being away from your desk means that you will not always have the most optimal surface to put your mouse on. That is why you might want to check our mouse pad suggestions.

The Atheris sensor has 220 IPS / 30G acceleration. You can lower your DPI and still make very rapid mouse movements without fearing that these movements will be transmitted incorrectly to your computer.

Battery Life

The Atheris batteries can take you through 350 hours of continuous use. This is a long time, and obviously a huge selling point. The catch is that you must use the Bluetooth option, otherwise the battery power will drain faster. Bluetooth means 250Hz polling rate and tiny delays when the mouse wakes up from idle mode. That is perfect for scrambling excel sheets, and occasional LoL games, but not for competitive gameplay sessions.

The mouse comes with a pair of 2 AA batteries included. The plastic on the back of the mouse is held by magnets, you can easily lift them and replace the batteries in less than 30 seconds.

Note that there is no USB connector on this mouse. In other words, you cannot charge the batteries while you play.

A tip from me – alkaline batteries last longer, take 2 of these and you are all set for another 350 hours of use.

RGB Lighting

If you are a fan of RGB lighting, you will be disappointed here. No lighting translates to longer battery life and Razer’s focus here was namely the long battery life. To preserve even more power, Razer has not put a battery indicator LED on the mouse.

There is only a tiny LED placed to indicate whether the mouse is being in Bluetooth (blue glow) or wireless (green glow) connectivity mode.

Software

The Atheris works out of the box; it does not need any special drivers to function.

If you are not satisfied with the default button functionalities and the DPI steps, you have the freedom to adjust them. You can download the free Razer Synapse v3 software from Razer’s website and play with the DPI settings. The software allows you to program some macros as well as gaming profiles.

Atheris vs Orochi vs Lancehead

If you are wondering how this mouse compares to its siblings – Razer Orochi and Lancehead, here is a table outlining the most important attributes you should be aware of before making a purchase.

FAQ

Can I use it with a Mac?

Yes, without any problems.

Is there a cable option?

No. If you are looking for a cable option, this is not the right mouse for you. You might want to check Razer Orochi.

How long do batteries last in wireless 2.4GHz mode?

I did not test that, perhaps not much more than a week. The polling rates are high and that drains batteries fast.

Conclusion

The Atheris is among the budget-friendly Razer products. It is a simple and yet versatile device that has great portability features. Travelling gamers will definitely fall for the 350-hour battery life. In addition, the Atheris is a wonderful device for casual use, so you can take it with you on business trips, too. All in all, if you travel often, and you need a durable, inexpensive rodent that will not betray you during an intense battle or a business meeting, the Atheris is well-worth the purchase.

Razer Atheris Ambidextrous Wireless Mouse
  • 5 Programmable Buttons: Allows for button remapping and assignment of complex macro functions through Razer Synapse 3
  • Durable Mechanical Switches: Supports up to 50 million clicks, backed by a 2 year
  • High-Precision 7200 DPI Optical Sensor: Offers on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment and 1000 Hz ultrapolling in a compact and mobile form-factor
  • 350 Hour Battery Life: Supports wireless, extended gaming sessions using swappable 2x AA batteries (included)

Petya is a grammar fanatic and a cat lover. She has been playing mainly RPG and now, her attention is completely captured by the Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen and The Elder Scrolls Online. Her favorite hero is Sheogorath, the Prince of Madness. The main reason why she finds video games fascinating is the gameplay, the atmosphere and the fantastic worlds that serve her as an inspiration for drawing sketches.

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