Games

Review of the Mountain Everest 60 modular keyboard

The original Mountain Everest Max was an impressive debut for the new company, bringing with it an innovative, modular design and great attention to detail. It’s back with its latest iteration, the Everest 60, a 60% keyboard with enthusiast arrow keys and features to improve both the sound and the feel. And of course modularity. Since we all need numbers or macros at some point, this new board lets you connect a number pad to either side and complete the package. There’s so much to talk about with this new keyboard, so let’s not waste any more time:

The Everest 60 is one of the best 60% prebuilt keyboards you can buy right now. Attention Ducky One 2 Mini, the Everest 60 is here.

specifications

  • Current Price: $139.99 (Mountain, Amazon)
  • Color: Midnight Black
  • Switch Type: 3-pin hot-swappable MOUNTAIN
  • Switch Socket: 3 and 5 pin compatible
  • Stabilizer Bar: Cherry (Plate Mounted, Lubricated & Clipped)
  • Layout: Custom, 64 keys US-ANSI
  • Backlight: RGB
  • Key rollover: NKRO over USB
  • Polling rate: 1000Hz / 1ms
  • Keycaps: PBT double-shot with translucent legends
  • MCU: Cortex M0
  • Onboard memory: Up to 5 profiles
  • On-the-Fly System: Via the FN function key
  • Connection: USB Type-C
  • Interface: USB2.0
  • Product dimensions: 115 x 307.2 x 46.44 mm (L x W x H)
  • Product Weight: 768g
  • Materials: Aluminum top cover, ABS bottom cover, foam, silicone
  • Software support: Base Camp™
  • Guarantee: 2 years
  • Included accessories
    • Combination tool for removing keycaps and switches
    • USB Type A to C cable (1.6m)
    • MOUNTAIN sticker pack
    • riser feet

Mountain Everest 60 – design and main features

It’s immediately clear: The Mountain team listened to the community. The Everest 60 is a perfect example of what a second product should be. It refines the qualities that people liked in the beginning, addresses the concerns that people raised, and then ups the ante in new and exciting ways.

The biggest change is of course the form factor. The original Everest Max was a tenkeyless with a modular number pad that could be attached to either side. The Everest 60 is an innovative 60 percent with a much smaller footprint. There’s no function bar or navigation and editing cluster, but with some smart changes to the bottom right, Mountain has made room for dedicated arrow keys and a delete key.

Like the Max, the Everest 60 supports a modular number pad. This is sold as an add-on for another $50, which is steep but is built to the same high standard as the rest of the keyboard and docks on either side. The integration here is very well done, with magnets and a retractable USB-C socket to plug into the board without the need for an extra cable. Once in place, it’s solid and doesn’t wobble and twist the connector worryingly. RGB also syncs up as soon as it’s plugged in, so you don’t have to worry about color mismatches.

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Coming back to the main keyboard, Mountain did an excellent job creating a board that looks unique but doesn’t fall into the garish gamer chic trends. It uses a top metal plate to mount the switches and add stability. Around the top edge is a brushed aluminum panel to break up the unity of the panel and give it a unique aesthetic. The keyboard uses the floating switch design that exposes the translucent tops of the switches for a cool RGB effect, but the case’s dark color keeps it more isolated under each keycap.

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Between the top and bottom halves of the case is an RGB light strip that wraps around the entire keyboard. This is recessed so it doesn’t throw much light onto your desk but definitely adds more eye candy to the package. This light strip is also customizable within the Base Camp software suite.

If we flip the board backwards we find another nice innovation. Rather than using tilt feet, the Everest uses 60 stackable magnets to set the exact tilt you want to type at. I was initially concerned that these would shift if I slid the keyboard onto my desk, but I didn’t have to worry. The magnets are strong and the last piece that touches your desk wraps around the magnetic disc underneath. Likewise, the entire stack fits into a recess, so they’re just really stable and won’t move unless you physically detach them.

There are not one, not two, but three USB Type-C ports on the back of the keyboard. You can plug one of these in to properly route your cable for your setup (quite a thought), but they won’t work for connecting peripherals. They have a low output power and can carry out trickle charging, but do not allow the connection of headphones or mice, for example. That’s a missed opportunity and an early disappointment for many users.

Inside the keyboard we find a series of upgrades that elevate the experience far beyond that of the original Everest Max. Honestly, what Mountain has made here is better than most other 60% keyboards, period, and it deserves kudos.

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So, let’s break it down from top to bottom. The keycaps are no longer cheap ABS. Mountain has switched to thick double-shot PBT with backlit legends for play in the dark. They sound and feel better. Because PBT is a denser plastic, you don’t have to worry about them wearing and shining over time, leaving your keyboard looking greasy all the time.

Besides these upgraded keycaps, we have greatly upgraded switches. These switches are pre-lubricated for added smoothness and improved tone, and you have a choice of 45-gram linear switches (fast and regular variants) or 55-gram tactile switches. I was sent the regular 45 gram linears which are the closest match to Cherry MX Red switches. These switches are great. They are exceptionally smooth and sound good for typing. Without hesitation, they are miles ahead of Cherries and don’t have the annoying jumping ping that drags the experience down. When you want to change them, it’s as easy as pulling them out with the tool provided. The Everest 60 features hot-swappable switch sockets, so there’s no need to get out that soldering iron when you’re craving a change in tone and feel.

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Along with pre-lubricated shifters, Mountain has switched to Cherry-branded plate-mount stabilizers. Unlike Cherry switches, the stabilizers still hold up well on the market today and are a lot better than the no-name stabs that come with most gaming keyboards. Mountain has even gone so far as to smear these with Krytox 205g0 lube (an expensive but excellent community favorite among keyboard builders) and put foam dampening pads underneath for a custom pavement mod. These are the little touches that really change the whole typing experience – and they do. These stabs are among the quietest I’ve heard on a production keyboard. However, they are not circumcised. So if you want a little more clack, you’ll have to trim the feet yourself.

Underneath, Mountain has added several layers of sound deadening material. There is foam between the platter and the board to dampen typing vibrations. Another layer of foam is applied under the circuit board. The case has a silicone mat underneath to eliminate any cavities that may occur when typing. It’s an acoustically-tuned keyboard, inside and out, and that’s wonderful to see.

Mountain Everest 60 Typing and Gaming Performance

It all adds up to a keyboard that’s among the best out there in its form factor. Starting with typing, moving to mountain switches is transformative. With the original Everest Max, I enjoyed using it, but I craved something other than a Cherry switch. Mountain could have gone with the standard Gateron or Kailh switches, but instead went their own way and delivered a switch that’s utterly pleasant to use. The increased smoothness is immediately noticeable and there is no loss of response. The smear job felt consistent on my sample, with each key having a consistent glide and sound profile for its row. These switches are to sell on their ownand I wouldn’t mind if they popped up in enthusiast storefronts for more people to experience.

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The switches are only part of the equation. The effort Mountain has put into improving the keyboard’s sound and feel is paying off. The thicker keycaps feel firmer under your finger and are more satisfying to use. The anti-roll bars are smoother and don’t need extra lubrication (at least on my sample). The sound deadening material works exceptionally well so the typing noise isn’t hollow. It’s solid, smooth, and substantial, and I love typing on it.

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Playing is just as nice. Being able to connect the numeric keypad without running another cable or swapping out keyboards is helpful and makes the Everest 60 a much more stable device on my desktop. The keys are fast and responsive, and there’s no lag to speak of. I was able to test Mountain’s speed switches, which were a bit too sensitive for my heavy fingers, but if you have a lighter touch you can increase the responsiveness even more.

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The only downside to this type of keyboard is learning the secondary keys. It’s not unique to the Everest 60 and is a staple of compact keyboards. Accessing navigation keys like Home and End, hitting Print Screen for a quick screenshot, all of these are accessed by holding down the FN key and hitting a combo. They’re intuitive, but there’s a learning curve. Depending on the type of games you play, a full-size or TKL keyboard like the Everest Max might still be a better choice, especially if you loathe combos. However, once you get used to the smaller form factor, it’s hard to go back.

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Final Thoughts

In my years of reviewing keyboards, one of the biggest things I’ve learned, gaming keyboard or not, what really matters is that a keyboard is responsive and feels good. After that come the extras. The Everest 60 nails the basics and adds innovation. At $139.99 this is a very solid buy and gives me hope for an Everest Max 2.0 that will add some of these new features.

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The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Some items may contain affiliate links and purchases made through them will result in a small commission for the site. Commissions are not addressed to the author or linked to remuneration in any way.

https://www.mmorpg.com/hardware-reviews/mountain-everest-60-modular-keyboard-review-2000124915 Review of the Mountain Everest 60 modular keyboard

Fry Electronics Team

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