AcuRite is no stranger to those who regularly use home weather stations. The company is behind some of the best weather stations on the market right now. The latest product from AcuRite, known as the AcuRite Atlas weather station, is here to continue that tradition of offering the best features to users at an affordable price point.
Note: If you're interested in other weather stations, check out our review of the best weather stations for 2020.
The launch of AcuRite Atlas was one of the most anticipated product releases in the category, simply because this is the first enthusiast model from AcuRite. The company has been wanting to enter the market segment for a while, especially with competitors like Davis Instruments Vantage Vue and the Vantage Pro2 dominating the market.
So, is the AcuRite Atlas as good as we hoped it would be? Let’s find out, shall we?
Why AcuRite Atlas?
There is a simple reason why AcuRite decided to release the Atlas: to deliver a more up-to-date solution to the market. While the two options from Davis Instruments are great function-wise, they lack the modern features we now expect from home weather stations, especially one made for enthusiasts.
The AcuRite Atlas is also priced substantially better than its competitors, making it a more appealing offer in terms of value. You don’t have to sacrifice much – or spend a lot of money – to get a weather station that will serve you well for years to come.
Unboxing and Installation
The AcuRite Atlas is designed to be an all-in-one device, so both the unboxing experience and setup process are incredibly crisp. You can literally set the integrated sensor suite (ISS) up in a matter of minutes. When we tested this device, it took us longer to set up the pole needed to mount the ISS than to actually get the AcuRite Atlas running.
To mount the suite of sensors, you need a 1-inch to 1.25-inch pole. Make sure you place the sensor suite in an area that allows it to gather data effectively; somewhere around six feet off the ground with clear, unobstructed access to the environment is ideal. The AcuRite Atlas can also be mounted on the wall, but the process takes a bit longer to complete.
Once installed, it is time to set up the console for the AcuRite Atlas as well as AcuRite Access. The sensors connect to your console wirelessly as long as it is not too far away, so you won’t have to worry about running cables either. The entire setup process can be completed in a matter of minutes. As an added bonus, AcuRite sells a wind extension kit that you can add to the sensor suite for a more comprehensive reading.
Accuracy is a strong selling point of the AcuRite Atlas. While it doesn’t cost as much as professional weather stations, the Atlas can still produce accurate readings across the field. It is also worth noting that the AcuRite Atlas is a lot more accurate compared to previous AcuRite devices; the company is making big leaps in the right direction here.
All readings except lightning are captured every 30 seconds. You can expect accuracy of ± 1°F for temperature reading and 2% RH for humidity, which are both very good for a device in this class. Compared to competitors like the Vantage Vue, the AcuRite Atlas showed similar readings and equal accuracy.
Sensors and Upgradability
While the main sensor unit is designed in a suite form for easy setup and installation, the AcuRite Atlas is still very flexible. We’ve already mentioned the wind extension kit as one of the upgrade options for the Atlas. It allows you to measure wind speed and direction without going through complex calibration steps. The wind extension kit is also accurate when the sensor suite is placed higher up.
There is also a lightning extension kit. As the name suggests, the kit adds a lighting sensor suitable for measuring lighting up to 25 miles away. Other sensors are designed to work out of the box, including sensors for humidity, UV index, light intensity, and rain.
We particularly love the power options available for this device. The AC power adapter for the AcuRite Atlas works really well when the sensor suite is placed closer to a building or an electrical socket. The adapter is built well enough to withstand the elements.
The remote battery pack makes using the AcuRite Atlas even more convenient, since you can use it to power the Altas for months. Since the remote battery can be placed closer to the ground – and you can buy several of them for prolonged use – you can keep the device running for years without an issue.
That said, the built-in power options are actually very good on their own. You have the built-in battery providing power for up to 8 months, and a solar panel automatically drawing pawer and recharging the internal battery during the day. A simple setup like this is more than enough for most users.
Other upgrade options include the type of console you want to use. Aside from the AcuRite Access, you also have an HD touchscreen console. The Access connects your AcuRite Atlas to the internet and streams reading data to the cloud. The touchscreen console, on the other hand, is more for on-site readings and access to real-time data.
You can choose between these options when buying the AcuRite Atlas. If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, both of these options are incredibly useful.
We can’t help but be really impressed by the AcuRite Atlas weather station. The launch of this device was delayed several times, but we can see why AcuRite decided to wait. It is a fantastic all-in-one device with the right balance between price, functionality, robustness, and upgradability.
We love the features offered by the Atlas, including:
- The way the ISS is designed, which allows for easy installation
- High accuracy comparable to its closest competitors (and even devices from a higher market segment)
- HD color touchscreen and internet connectivity
- Incredible pricing!
The AcuRite Atlas is a serious contender in its segment, and it is a device that we can confidently recommend. The Atlas may even be the weather station of choice for home users who want more features from a device that will not break the bank. A solid option nonetheless.