The word ‘cute’ isn’t one that you would normally associate with the best gaming keyboards. Nevertheless, it’s the first one that springs to mind when you unbox the Everest Mountain 60, which we're reviewing here.
That’s partly a result of its diminutive dimensions – it’s one of the recently vogueish crop of 60 per cent keyboards – but also because of its build quality. Mountain is a German company, and seems determined to engineer its products in a similar manner to that country’s car industry.
So the Mountain 60 is small but distinctly chunky – and satisfyingly heavy, given its size, although you might see that as an issue if you seek lightness from a keyboard. It also manages to be somewhat bling, yet not too indiscreetly so, with a typical multicoloured (RGB) lighting system below the keys, which extends to a horizontal strip around the base of the keyboard. The keycaps themselves are more opaque than most, but it’s quite obviously a gaming keyboard.
Mountain Everest 60 review: Price and availability
You can pick up the Mountain Everest 60 keyboard right now, with an asking price of $149.99/£109.99/€139.99/AUD$199 across its various on-sale regions.
Check out the widget below for the best up-to-the-minute pricing. Also be aware there's an additional numpad accessory add-on that you can buy in tandem, which may boost the price.
Mountain Everest 60 review: Design & customisation
The Mountain Everest 60 has many selling points, and customisability is high up among those. Indeed, Mountain is keen to describe it as not just customisable but ‘modular’.
That’s because it comes with a choice of three different switches, all made by Mountain: Tactile 55, Linear 45 and Linear 45 Speed. You can also opt to add a numeric keypad, as mentioned above (i.e. sold separately or part of a package), which can be attached to either the left or the right of the keyboard, plus you can order different colour combinations for the keycaps (we opted to stick with Teutonic black and were happy to do so).
The switches and keycaps are all hot-swappable: the Everest 60 comes with a tool that lets you pull them out with ease. Specifying a completely personalised Everest 60 is simple, which is probably just as well since, given its RRP, it’s pretty pricey for a 60 per cent keyboard.
It also boasts some neat design touches: its cable (USB-C to USB) can be plugged into any one of three USB-C ports on its back plate, affording an extra bit of leeway if whatever you’re plugging it into is offset from your seating position. That cable is a 2m one, which is adequate rather than generous, so that extra leeway might come in handy. And it comes with four magnetic spacers which can be used to extend the two back legs, creating a steep amount of rake if that’s what you seek.
Mountain’s Base Camp software, which lets you configure the Everest 60, is serviceable rather than spectacular, but lets you control the keyboard’s most important aspects, such as its RGB lighting and custom key bindings (pretty important for a 60 per cent keyboard). It also has a macro wizard, which is quite handy.
Mountain Everest 60 review: Performance
It swiftly becomes obvious that the Mountain Everest 60 is a very fine keyboard indeed upon first use – and certainly in among the best 60 per cent gaming keyboard currently on the market.
We opted for the Tactile 55 switches, and they lived up to their name, with plenty of feel and a decent amount of travel. Clever damping means they aren’t too clacky, although you probably wouldn’t want to use them too enthusiastically in a library. The keycaps have a pleasingly grainy feel to them, again feeling nicely engineered.
Layout-wise, the Everest 60 is pretty much exemplary for a 60 per cent keyboard. Naturally, it lacks some of the more extraneous keys, such as all the Function keys, but it still has arrow keys, handily arranged at the bottom right, should you prefer those to the WASD keys.
However, if your taste in games tends towards those which make heavy use of macros, then you will probably be better off with a full-sized keyboard. The Everest 60 does let you map hotkeys using the Fn key, but the process of doing so is rather clunky and unintuitive.
We tested the Everest 60 with a number of games, including Apex Legends, Destiny 2 and Disco Elysium, and it passed with flying colours. Perhaps if you’re on the cusp of a professional esports career in a first-person shooter, you would want to opt for the lower-travel Linear 45 Speed switches for extra responsiveness, but as the Everest 60 is a wired keyboard, latency isn’t a problem, and it just feels comfortable and pleasant to use in whatever real-life application you feel like throwing at it.
Mountain Everest 60 review: Verdict
Overall, the Mountain Everest 60 is a very fine gaming keyboard, suitable for everything from fast-twitch online shooters to MMOs. It’s beautifully engineered, satisfyingly chunky and a pleasure to use.
Sure, if you tend to play games that require the use of an array of macros and hotkeys, you’d probably be better off with a full-sized keyboard. But if, for whatever reason (a lack of space principally), you’ve set your sights on a 60 per cent keyboard, you’ll struggle to find a better one than the Mountain Everest 60.
Its customisability is a real boon, and if you feel it's a bit on the pricey side, once you get your hands on it, you’ll instantly realise that it’s built to last for a very long time.
There's a whole variety of best keyboards available, but if you specifically want a smaller, 60 per cent option, then you'll want to look at something like the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog, which has got that gaming style.
If you're not sure a smaller 'board is the thing for you, however, then a great full-size gaming keyboard is the Das Keyboard 5QS. We've long touted this full-size gaming keyboard's benefits, but only go down this road if you're happy with something much larger.