Gaming

Razer Atheris a great mouse for travellers

Razer's new Atheris, which uses two AA batteries, is a very small mouse as it is designed for travel, with a slight inclination towards gaming.
Razer's new Atheris, which uses two AA batteries, is a very small mouse as it is designed for travel, with a slight inclination towards gaming.PHOTO: RAZER

Razer is famed for its gaming mice and keyboards, which have backlighting that can be customised in millions of colours. But its new Atheris is the antithesis of them.

It does not come with any backlighting. Even the Razer logo - etched on the lower-half of the mouse - does not light up.

The Atheris features a symmetrical design, so it is great for both right and left handers. But it is a very small mouse, as it is designed to be a travel mouse with a slight inclination towards gaming. Its surface area is no bigger than a name card.

In fact, I think it looks like a scaled-down version of the Razer Lancehead that I previously tested. As such, the Atheris scores high on the looks department unlike some boring-looking models by its competitors in the same genre.

Like the Lancehead, the Atheris has rubber grips on both sides but lacks the front car-vent design and multiple buttons of its more illustrious cousin.

The Atheris has only two side buttons on its left and a top sensitivity button, besides the usual left-and right-click buttons and scroll wheel.

But it does not have a built-in battery like the Lancehead, meaning it lacks a USB cable and thus has no wired option. Instead, it uses two AA batteries (included), easily found in convenience stores when you travel.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $84.90

    SENSOR: 7,200 dpi optical sensor

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth LE, 2.4GHz

    WEIGHT: 66g (without batteries)

    RATING

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

If you are worried about being caught out by batteries going flat, fret not. According to Razer, the Atheris can last for 15 days of continuous use using the 2.4GHz dongle. In other words, it probably can last for the duration of most of your business trips.

To insert the batteries, lift the top lid of the mouse to reveal the battery compartment. Here is also where the 2.4GHz USB dongle is discreetly stowed. This dongle wirelessly connects the mouse tothe computer using Razer's AFT or Adaptive Frequency Technology.

As its name implies, the AFT constantly scans frequency channels for interference, and switches frequency accordingly for a lag-free connection. It is supposed to ensure 100 per cent transmission stability.

Or you can always opt for a Bluetooth connection if your laptop is low on USB ports. At the bottom of the Atheris, you will find a small switch that toggles through Off, Bluetooth and 2.4GHz.

Thus, you can toggle between two computers with the Atheris - by pairing it with one computer using Bluetooth and with another using the USB dongle, and then pushing the switch to the respective options accordingly.

All the buttons and scroll wheels are customisable using Razer's Synapse software. The software also shows the battery level, so you know when you need to change battery.

I thought the small size of the Atheris might be an issue when using the mouse. But it is surprisingly comfortable whether browsing Web pages, sifting through reports or editing photos.

For gaming, it is better suited to gamers who prefer a claw grip or who arch their hand and fingers to grip the mouse.

I am used to resting my palm on the mouse. Still, I find it comfortable enough for gaming. Plus, its 7,200 dots-per-inch (dpi) optical sensor is no slouch when it comes to playing games. Whether playing Diablo III or Overwatch, the Atheris performed impeccably during my tests.

At $84.90, this is also the cheapest Razer mouse that you can get.

•Verdict: The Razer Atheris is an ideal mouse to get for frequent fliers who need one for work and leisure.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2017, with the headline 'Razer Atheris a great mouse for travellers'. Print Edition | Subscribe