Mountain is a relatively new name in the PC peripherals market, but you’d never have guessed it by looking at the Mountain Everest Max mechanical gaming keyboard. Far from being a simple first attempt to ease into the market, this keyboard has an ambitious modular design that includes removable numpad and media control sections, and it can even be bought in stages.
The idea is that you can pick up the Mountain TKL Everest Core keyboard for just $120, or even the barebones keyboard (not currently available), and then later add the media dock ($40), numpad ($60) and wrist rest ($10), or you can just opt for the whole lot at once with the Everest Max ($220). It’s a great system in terms of cost-saving and customization and, what’s more, it’s practical too.
The numpad houses a two-ended sliding USB Type-C plug that allows it to plug into either the right or left sides of the main keyboard. It also uses magnets to keep it securely fixed in place, while still being easy to detach. To be able to just quickly and easily unclip your numpad to free up some desk space for your mouse when gaming is so convenient.
The media dock uses a similar fitment system, and it can be placed either on the top right or top left of the main keyboard. It provides LEDs for Scroll/Num/Caps Lock buttons, as well as buttons for back, forward, play/pause, mute, and select. The latter is used in conjunction with the multi-function wheel next to it, which can act as a volume wheel or control the keyboard’s backlighting, show your CPU/memory/GPU usage, display a clock, and more, all from the circular colour display held within it.
Other multi-function mini displays are housed in four buttons that sit at the top of the numpad section. These can be programmed via Mountain’s Base Camp software, with options to run programs, open folders, perform OS commands, and more. The buttons themselves have a stiff, shallow action, so they’re not overly satisfying to press, but their utility is undeniable.
Meanwhile, the wrist rest magnetically attaches to the front of the main keyboard – it doesn’t extend to the numpad – and it offers a pleasing cushioned surface. However, we found it to be too narrow and a little wobbly, so that it tipped backward under the weight of our wrists, raising the front of the keyboard. It’s the only slight slip-up in this keyboard’s practical design.
The modularity does break up the look of the board, but Mountain has embraced this as a feature by curving the corners of each section to highlight that they can be separated.
The Mountain Everest Max switches are hot-swappable Cherry MX ones, so it’s easy to swap out the switches for any combination you like, although only Brown and Red switches are available for UK layouts. The typing experience is also excellent and not overly noisy, despite lacking any specific sound deadening. The keycaps are basic ABS plastic ones with screen-printed lettering, so they won’t last as long as doubleshot PBT caps, but they’re easy to replace.
- Amazing modular design
- So much functionality
- So much customization
- Cracking value
- Wobbly wrist rest
The Mountain Everest Max specs list is:
|Dimensions (mm)||461 x 265 x 43 (W x D x H)|
|Weight||852g (without cable)|
|Format||Modular TKL (87keys) and full-size (105 keys)|
|Switch type||Cherry MX hot swappable (Brown, Blue, Grey, Orange, Red)|
|Switch life||50+ million keystrokes|
|Extras||Detachable numpad and media dock, detachable cushioned wrist rest, keycap removal tool, programmable display buttons|
The Mountain Everest Max price is $250, making is an expensive option, even for a mechanical gaming keyboard. However, it offers loads of features for that price, making it actually excellent value. Also, you can buy just the TKL keyboard on its own and later add the other parts, spreading out the overall cost.
Price: Expect to pay $250 / £220
This keyboard has blown us away. The amount of features offered by its extra programmable buttons and multi-function dial, combined with its incredibly convenient modular design, make it a powerful tool. It has all the features you could need, yet it can shrink to a compact TKL board in an instant. It’s certainly not cheap, and its relatively lightweight as premium keyboards go, but it still provides astonishingly good value when you consider what you get. So good is the Everest Max that it earns a place on our best gaming keyboard list.
Utility, convenience and decent value, the Mountain Everest is among the finest products we’ve ever reviewed.