Small and mighty
Mountain’s Everest Max was one of the best full-sized keyboards around, and the new Everest 60 is clearly derived from the same pedigree. This is a compact 60% keyboard that manages to overcome many shortcomings of traditional 60% keyboards, such as lack of arrow keys a.nd dedicated number pad.
As on the Everest Max, the Everest 60 supports a magnetic, detachable number pad that snaps onto either the left or right of the keyboard. It attaches via a USB-C connector and magnetic guides. The number pad feels very secure when attached, never feeling like it is in any danger of falling off.
The ability to have the number pad on the left also lets you retain all the additional space for your mouse, while still enjoying the full functionality of the number pad.
In keeping with the same level of choice and modularity, the detachable USB-C cable can be plugged into the keyboard at three different locations: the left, the middle, or the right. It’s a neat addition that just puts more control in the hands of the user and allows the keyboard to fit better into a wider range of setups. For instance, you might pick the left or right connector depending on which side your PC sits on.
The entire keyboard is built on this premise of adjustability and modularity. The keyboard ships with stackable magnetic feet in order to raise the typing angle. I found that adding just one extra riser worked best for me – the typing angle felt almost two steep with two.
The Everest 60 also sports a non-standard layout. Mountain has crammed in arrow keys typically reserved for larger 65% keyboards, so you barely have to give up any functionality despite its small size. However, this is not without its tradeoffs.
For starters, the right Shift key is now just a 1U key, which feels slightly awkward to use and requires some getting used to. On top of that, the nonstandard keys mean that it’ll be trickier to find a compatible set of third-party keycaps in case you want to switch up the look of the keyboard.
Fortunately, the keycaps are PBT doubleshot, so they should be primed to last for a long while and are less likely to shine. Mountain also sells its own PBT sets to help alleviate the lack of choice somewhat.
The keyboard offers three choices of switches: tactile 55g, linear 45g, and a “speed” version of the linear 45g switch. They are all custom-made
Mountain switches and are factory-lubed for a smoother feel. The hot-swappable sockets let you install your own switches as well for additional customisation, with support for 5-pin switches so you don’t have to clip the extra legs.
The plate-mounted Cherry stabilisers have been lubed with Krytox GPL 205 Grade 0 too for a better typing feel.
My review unit came with the yellow linear 45g switches, which felt smooth and satisfying to type on. The switches sit on top of a solid brushed aluminum top plate, and there is zero flexing or creaking. Mountain has also added some sound dampening features in the form of multiple layers of foam and silicone. The silicone sits at the base of the keyboard, while there are two layers of foam on either side of the PCB.
The keyboard is extremely quiet, although the sound dampening means it doesn’t quite have the deep “thock” that some enthusiasts are after.
The backlighting is bright and even, with five different presets to choose from. Selecting the custom option lets you tweak the effects on a per-key basis, so you get full control of the lighting. However, the software could use a little more polish and it currently feels a tad buggy. For example, clicking Custom causes it to freeze up and require a restart at times.
The keyboard is also encircled all around by stunning underglow lighting, which should appeal to RGB fiends.
All the Everest 60’s features come at a price though. The keyboard will set you back US$139.99 (and US$39.99 for the Everest 60 Numpad), a hefty, although not unreasonable, amount. Mountain has paid a lot of attention to the small things, from its lubricated switches and stabilisers to the sturdy magnetic covers for unused connectors. This is a keyboard that screams quality.
ANYONE IN THE MARKET FOR A 60% GAMING KEYBOARD SHOULD DEFINITELY BE LOOKING AT THIS.