Razer is a gaming brand, we all know that. It’s even in their slogan – for gamers, by gamers. However, gamers need to work too. Hence, the Razer Atheris is born. It’s an in-between mouse that suits both game and work together at the same time. It’s a compact wireless mouse that is meant to be portable yet functional.
Let’s take a deep look at how the Razer Atheris really performs in our intensive and extensive day-to-day usage.
The box of the Razer Atheris is rather simple. A top down view with the actual size of the mouse printed at the front, alongside with some feature highlights, and of course, the Razer logo.
At the back of the packaging there are a few more highlights showing off the important specs and also expected battery longevity. As our unboxing video shows here, the contents are also kept simple with only the documentation, the Razer Atheris itself, and also two double-A batteries.
The Razer Atheris itself
Being a portable mouse that fits for both game and work at the same time, the Razer Atheris needs to be compact – and that’s what Razer has done here. The Atheris has an ambidextrous low-profile design. Speaking from personal preference, my palm is just too huge for this mouse.
While the Atheris does have an ambidextrous shape, there are no side buttons on the right side.
Opening up the top reveals the battery compartment and also where the 2.4GHz wireless dongle is found. The dongle is tiny and the USB header is having the Razer green color as well. Nice little touch to keep everything in the Razer theme.
The entire mouse weighs only 67 grams, while the AA batteries weighs it down to 113 grams. Of course, different batteries have different weights.
At the bottom, there’s an optical sensor that goes up to 7,200 DPI. Beside the sensor is where the 3-mode toggle switch is found. You can change it from Bluetooth mode, turning it off, or connect using the included 2.4GHz wireless dongle. Of course, the 2.4GHz is a plug-and-play connection but make sure you remember to take the dongle with you.
The USB dongle is stored in inside the mouse, between the batteries. It would be great if I don’t have to open up the mouse every time I want to put in or take out the USB dongle.
The Razer Atheris missed out on one connection option – wired USB mode. Razer could’ve fitted a microUSB header somewhere around the edge of the left or right clicker and convert it to wired USB mode instead. At the Atheris’s current state, you can only connect with your PC using Bluetooth or the dongle that comes with the mouse.
On a side note, the Razer Atheris does not have any RGB lighting or any sort of fancy aesthetics.
Razer Synapse 3
For me, I took out the wireless dongle and connected it to my desktop. Within a few seconds, a menu popped out and prompts me to install the Razer Synapse 3. While I do understand that Razer recommends us to install Synapse 3 to take full advantage of all the features available on the Atheris, I find it a little intrusive.
Once installed, the Atheris appears in the menu. There is a label for each button on the mouse and there’s a toggle switch to change the view to Razer Hypershift. Hypershift here works the same as what Cooler Master’s Storm TactiX is offering. You’ll have to assign one dedicated button to toggle between standard and Hypershift mode. Easiest way to understand is that the Hypershift button functions as the shift key on your keyboard – it’s a modifier key that changes the output of other keys.
In the Performance tab of the Razer Synapse 3, there are options to change the sensitivity and polling rate.
Onward to the Calibration tab where a surface profile can be added so that the mouse can track more accurately on the surface. Some might deem it necessary, but the Atheris works pretty well on the surfaces I’ve tried – wood, melamine, and a cloth mousepad.
Lastly, there’s the Power tab where you can adjust the power saving and change the battery threshold where the LED blinks.
You’ll also need a Razer account to start using the Atheris. That’s because all of your settings will be saved on the cloud. While it is not necessary to install Synapse for the Atheris to work, I do highly recommend to install Synapse to set the Atheris up initially so that you personalize the Atheris according to how you want it to be. It does have on-board memory to store all your custom settings too.
Using the Razer Atheris
First of all, don’t throw away the user manual. Go through it at least once to learn how to pair using Bluetooth mode. For me, I find it rather convenient to have two connection modes available on the Atheris. I instantly switched between my laptop and my desktop by just pushing the button at the bottom.
As for how the Atheris feels on my hands, it just felt small. I can only use the Atheris in claw grip and there’s an immensely huge void on my palm. Without a rigid shape to hold on, that means my palm can take whatever shape it likes and able to breathe without restriction. Again, it all boils down to your very own personal preference of mouse.
The one biggest missing feature on the Atheris is definitely the lack of wired USB mode. What if I forgot my dongle and the PC that I’m using doesn’t have Bluetooth? That means I have a wireless mouse but I can’t use it.
In terms of gaming experience, it’s quite okay. Firstly, have to make sure that the connection between the mouse and the receiver or Bluetooth is stable. There should be absolutely no jittering, stuttering, or missed tracking. I positioned the dongle through a USB 3.0 extension cable and the signal starts dropping. After I plugged in the dongle to my desktop’s front I/O, the connection is as stable as it can get.
On that note, there are no noticeable difference between the response time of Bluetooth connection or with the included 2.4GHz dongle.
How one grips the Razer Atheris and uses it for both work and gaming is heavily dependent on one’s personal preference – but just know that for those who have large hands, using the Atheris will certainly be challenging. For me, my fingers are as long as the Atheris, and I can only use it in claw grip.
When it comes to the battery life, I commend Razer for making such a great mouse.
Razer says the mouse can last for about 350 hours of usage – which translates to 14 days of continuous non-stop usage. We set the limit to 8 hours of usage a day, and by doing a little bit of math, we can guesstimate that the Atheris will have its battery drained in 43 days.
I’ve been using the mouse for about 3 days intensively – and when I say intensively, I mean way more than 8 hours a day. The battery has dropped to 92%. That said, the battery life differs greatly from battery to battery too. You might get some double-A batteries from Daiso or Tesco and call it a day. Others might get high-quality Eneloop batteries instead.
In our test case scenario, the battery is expected to last about a month in such use case. Synapse does tell the current battery level on the Atheris and warns you by blinking the LED when the battery is low.
One last thing to note is to take care while handling double-A batteries. Heard of the phenomenon of leaking double-A batteries? It’s not a pretty sight – and corroded one of the tables.
The Razer Atheris is placed in a position where it’s a wireless mouse for both work and play. It needed to be compact as well, and thus the Atheris is shaped as an ergonomic ambidextrous low-profile design but without the two side buttons on the right side. The mouse can only be used in claw grip since it’s so tiny.
While Razer themselves advertise the Atheris as a mouse that you can slide it in your bag and bring it around, I find it rather uncomfortable for my mouse to be unprotected and flung around while clashing with all of my other stuff in the bag and potentially getting scratched. Razer should have included a case or pouch for the Atheris instead. Oh wait – there is a pouch for the Atheris, and Razer is selling it separately for USD $5.99. What a bummer.
For the price of RM239 at Razer’s official Lazada store, it makes the Razer Atheris a rather niche product. It’s meant for right-handed users who prefer ambidextrous low-profile design and looking for a wireless mouse. Of course, the ability to switch between Bluetooth and the 2.4GHz wireless dongle connection is a boon – but still missing on wired USB mode.
- Switching between 2.4GHz wireless dongle and Bluetooth mode is quick
- Small and portable
- The pouch is not included in the box
- No USB wired mode