I do not like 60% keyboards. That’s the form of admission so early in a evaluation of a brand new 60% keyboard that may have you ever questioning my suitability for mentioned evaluation. Plus I’m conscious you’ll have already seen the excessive rating, the award badge, and will now be discovering this complete opening spiel considerably ludicrous. But whereas each different 60% keyboard I’ve ever used has been admittedly lovable, they have been totally unsuitable for precise day-to-day use.
The Mountain Everest 60, nevertheless, is simply as ickle because the competitors, simply as cute, and has all of the fanatic keyboard extras you could possibly need, however crucially has the full utility to be your each day driver of a keeb.
Previously, a tenkeyless (TKL) board was as small as I might moderately go for my house setup. And it is truly been the Mountain Everest Max which has been my go-to keyboard because it first launched practically 18 months in the past. That’s a board which is ready to be each a TKL unit and a full-size keyboard due to its removable numpad. That provides the additional house afforded by a small kind issue board, in addition to the utility of a normal one.
As a beginner firm Mountain has come into the crowded fanatic keyboard market decided to make the very best board round, and damned close to pulled it off. The modular nature of the total Max setup, in addition to the actual fact the Core model may very well be a pure barebones base on your personal choose of switches and keycaps, meant it supplied every thing you could possibly need from a contemporary gaming keyboard.
Well, not every thing, as a result of now each peripheral producer who has ever thought of transport a keyboard is bending over backwards to pack a miniscule 60% board into their lineup. But now, so has Mountain, and it is bringing its considerably distinctive perspective to the tiny keeb market, too.
Everest 60 specs
Connection: USB Type-C
Switches: Mountain Tactile 55, Linear 45, Linear 45 Speed
Switch sort: 3-pin sizzling swappable
Socket: 3 and 5-pin suitable
Backlight: Per-key RGB
Polling price: 1,000Hz
Keycaps: PBT double-shot
Dimensions: 115 x 307.2 x 46.44mm
Warranty: 2 years
Price: $139.99 | £109.99
Mountain is not the primary to create modular keyboards—Asus even made its personal years again—nevertheless it’s the primary to get it proper. Offering a strong, safe match for the modular parts, in addition to a number of mounting choices, makes the entire setup truly helpful and never just a few advertising and marketing gimmick. On its personal, although, the Everest 60 is not modular, however there’s a devoted numpad that may be bought individually, and it is hot-swappable. Crucially, for me, it’s going to additionally connect to both aspect of the board.
If you are still rocking a numpad on the right-hand aspect of your gaming keyboard then you definitely’re simply plain doing it incorrect. The key good thing about a smaller keeb is that your mouse and WSAD palms are nearer collectively, and switching the numpad to the left means you continue to get to make use of the additional buttons and the additional desktop actual property on your gaming rodent.
And, hell, it is also far more handy when thrashing your means via spreadsheet, too. Those benchmark numbers do not enter themselves, you already know.
That additional mouse house is the primary purpose 60% boards can have a spot in gaming, however, no less than for me, the normal lack of cursor keys makes them extremely irritating to make use of full-time. Mountain clearly thinks so, too, and has squeezed them into the right-hand aspect of the board, squishing down the best shift key and including in a del key as nicely.
The tiny proper shift key does take some getting used to, however the addition of the cursor keys makes an enormous distinction to the general utility of the Everest 60. But that is not the one purpose I’ve fallen in love with the board, nevertheless: this factor simply oozes high quality.
The authentic Everest Max is reassuringly strong, and feels good to sort on, particularly after I swapped out all the unique Cherry MX Red switches it shipped with and put in my very own Halo True switches. But the Everest 60 feels sooo significantly better. It’s simply the very best typing expertise I’ve ever had, and is an actual pleasure to make use of.
The base of the keyboard has a layer of silicone inside it, so as to add weight and dampen the sound, however then there are additionally two layers of froth, on both aspect of the PCB, to once more enhance the aural expertise. Mountain has used real Cherry stabilisers on the board, too, however has made certain they’re fitted and lubed correctly for the Everest 60 to make sure there is no rattle on even the broad spacebar.
And I’m impressed with the Mountain mechanical keyboard switches the corporate is transport contained in the Everest 60 for the primary time. Mountain can also be promoting them individually, in Tactile 55 (denoting the 55cN power wanted for actuation), Linear 45, and Linear 45 Speed (which have a shorter journey and actuation level). I’ve been utilizing the Tactile 55 in my pattern, they usually really feel nice. Really secure, responsive, and manufacturing facility lubed so there’s not one of the grittiness you may typically get from a tactile change.
It’s been fascinating testing the Everest 60 alongside the brand new Function MiniTKL from NZXT. They’re each making an attempt to do related issues, striding into the crowded fanatic keyboard house with new choices, nevertheless it’s clear Mountain has discovered a complete lot from its first launch, whereas NZXT is falling down in a number of key locations that may certainly be ironed out if its subsequent keebs.
The Everest 60 package deal is not utterly good, nevertheless. The primary factor that lets it down is—as at all times appears to be the case with peripherals—the software program. It’s largely wonderful. Mostly. But there are quirks, and the odd little bug I’ve skilled each in early evaluation testing of the Everest 60, and in my time utilizing the Base Camp software program day-to-day with the Everest Max.
Thankfully, as soon as you have set your most popular RGB lighting structure, and perhaps picked a number of macros, you may just about simply ignore it and get on with having fun with the expertise of an impressive gaming keyboard.
The normal Everest 60 comes with PBT double shot black keycaps, they usually’re completely wonderful, however I do have a gentle spot for the Aquamarine set that is now adorning this evaluation pattern. That’s simply aesthetics, although, and you will nonetheless be getting the identical nice really feel from the unique keycaps.
All this good keeb stuff does come at a value, nevertheless. The Everest 60 is $140 (£110) by itself, whereas the recent swappable numpad is $50 (£35), making the entire package deal quite a bit. There are some bundles, packaging the 2 collectively, and ones that embody the colourful new PBT keycap range, which may make it a bit cheaper. But not by a lot.
I assume that is fanatic keyboards proper now, and actually, there’s a feeling of high quality to the design and manufacturing of each a part of this package deal—the bottom, the switches, the numpad, the connections, the keycaps—that makes the pricing nearly comprehensible.
But the modular nature additionally means you do not have to go for every thing immediately. Pick the bottom board, then seize a numpad another time should you discover it is sensible for you. And then in a while perhaps choose a mineral PBT keycap set, or some new switches should you really feel the necessity for a change. Because if there’s one factor I’m assured of, this board might be with you for a lot of, a few years to return, it is actually earned a spot on my desktop.