The FUTURE of Gaming Keyboards is Here!
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I have been waiting for months to receive a final retail production sample of the new Mountain Everest keyboard, and if you pre-ordered one it’s definitely worth the wait. What Mountain is doing is bringing some fresh innovation into the keyboard industry that I hope other companies might take advantage of in terms of add-ons.
What I have here is the Mountain Everest Max keyboard, which is a TKL keyboard with an additional numpad and a display dial. Another fully element is that USB Type-C is everywhere on this keyboard, there are probably more USB Type-C connections than Logitech has on their entire gaming lineup.
Price & Models
Mountain is selling different tiers of the keyboard, there is the option of buying the Everest Core by itself, or you can go for the Core + numpad, or the Core + display dial, or just all parts together on the Everest Max. I would say getting to Everest Core by itself as a TKL keyboard for $150 USD is not worth it in my opinion. There are many other TKL options are available for much cheaper, but if you plan on getting the numpad or the display dial later, then yes potentially consider the Everest Core. It is a really refreshing take on modularity that is actually kind of useful and cool.
The keyboard will be available in two colours, silver or black, and with a variety of switches to choose from. The Everest has TKL body and despite the fact that the black model looks like plastic it is a full anodized aluminium top plate with some plastic underneath. The plastic is because we have multiple channels for cable routing, which is great, and the USB Type-C connection is pretty deep. We have this pretty dual texture design on the aluminium face plates. First we have the brushed aluminium and this CNC milled aluminium around the switches. I would highly recommend you get the silver model because the black model doesn’t look as premium, and also it will reveal all types of dust and particles that get settled in that pattern, which is not easy to clean.
This keyboard has perimeter lighting all around the keyboard, but unfortunately it’s not really visible to the user, nor does it spill much light to the surface. It’s only visible at an angle, and I feel like that is a little bit pointless.
The keycaps are double-shot ABS, which are not as strong or rigid as double-shot PBT keycaps, but the font is clean and the smooth texture is quite nice for the first 24 hours. After that things get greasy and all your oils are visible. The switches are also removable, so you can swap them out for your favorite switch if that is what you desire. My only complaint here is that the RGB illumination is not as bright as on my other RGB clear housing switches. I am told there is some lubing going on and the stabilizers are manually clipped, especially for the space bar, which is really stable.
USB Port & Spacers
You will notice that there is a USB port at the back of the body, and it’s not USB passthrough, it’s an actual USB 3.0 hub. I can plug in my USB card reader and transfer all the photos and all the media from the SD card using that USB hub. That feature on a keyboard is brilliant, so thank you Mountain.
One really cool way to angle the keyboard is to use the magnetic spacers, the feet both on the keyboard and the numpad are magnetic and are removable. You stack a few of them into a magnetic slot and it will angle the numpad and the keyboard as well. It is a brilliant design, nice and sturdy, and they will not go anywhere which gives you a lot of stability on the table.
On both sides you can see the USB Type-C female connection into which you plug in the numpad. It features a really unique USB Type-C mechanism at the bottom that allows the USB Type-C to exit from the right or the left side, because you can mount this numpad on either side of the TKL keyboard. Having the ability to mount it on the left side, away from the mouse area, and with the keyboard angled like it would normally be in the TKL form factor is just really nice for space saving, especially around the mouse area. You do have to retrain your left hand to utilize the numpad on the left side if you are coming from a traditional full-size keyboard, but of course you can move the back to the right side if that is what you are used to. Aside from a USB Type-C connection, there are also some magnets that hold the two pieces in place. And if you are not lifting a keyboard, if it is just stationary, it is absolutely stable.
The numpad is also unique because it has four TFT buttons that are also screens, and you can customize them to do whatever you want, opening up a program, create macros, media controls, etc. Obviously because they are screens you can change the actual graphic, so it gives you that visual indication on what that button does. Both the brightness and colour vibrancy are excellent, and the only thing is that that transparent housing of the button may obstruct some the graphic that is underneath when viewing the button at an angle.
One really interesting thing you can do with the numpad is use the included USB Type-C extension is to not have the numpad attached to the keyboard itself but instead a little further away. You can once again do this on either side of the keyboard, so you are getting a lot of extra flexibility with the positioning of the numpad. The cable is also quite thick and rigid, so the numpad won’t go anywhere. What I like to do with the numpad in this configuration is add additional spacers at the bottom, so the numpad is slightly more angled and that gives you better visibility of those TFT buttons.
The Display Dial
Probably the most interesting module to most would be that display dial. First of all, it connects with a USB Type-C connection to the body, either on the left or the right side, again giving users the same flexibility as the numpad. By the fifth try you will understand exactly where to plug it in without even trying to find the connection on the body. I love the hot-swappable nature of this module, you can simply unplug it, plug it back in on the opposite side, and everything is instantly recognized in the software. You don’t have to restart the computer, you don’t have to replug anything, everything just works.
The physical buttons on it are the media controls and the function button for the scroll wheel. Notice how they are not illuminated, so they won’t be visible in darkness. Beside those buttons we have the notification LED for caps lock, scroll lock, and numlock. As for the screen, it only displays information and has rotation in either direction, it’s not a button. With it you can select the clock, the date and time, a timer, or a stopwatch. You can cycle between the 5 profiles that can be saved to the keyboard. Next we have the lighting effects, volume adjustment that is instantaneous, and brightness of the illumination of the keyboard. I really liked the PC Info tab that shows the usage of your CPU, GPU, hard drives, your networks, and etc. Lastly, we have the actions per minute A(PM) toggle if you are into that, and a custom mode into which you can assign what the rotation of the dial does in the macro settings. I feel like this display dial has a lot of potential for future implementations, for example my feedback to Mountain has been enabling or disabling certain functionalities between each menu.
For example, in the clock if I don’t care about the timer or the stopwatch let me just disable them in the software so I don’t have to cycle between when I enter the clock functionality. The same can be applied to your PC Info configuration, where you are only care about say GPU temperature and not just GPU usage, you can enable that. Furthermore, when the timer runs out there is a flashing animation, which I think does the inverse of the screen, and that gives you better visibility in certain conditions. Being able to change the colour of the background would be fantastic. Granted, you can change the accent colour and the software from the default yellow to something else that matches your RGB lighting.
At this current state I think they have perfected the module as best that it can be right now, in terms of the actual connection, the hot-swappable nature, and the software has been super stable. However, it is a $70 add-on if you are going from the Everest Core to the model where the display dial is included. I feel like they must add a few additional functionalities into the driver software for this display dial to be a better value. Perhaps something with game integrations would be cool or productivity things. When an email shows up you get an email pop-up notification on the screen or something cool like that. My only complaint with the dial is that I feel like it’s a bit slippery, I feel like there is not enough texture around it so when rotating it with just one finger it’s impossible to have any control. You have to use two or three fingers to give you that one-step increment.
Lastly, in the box we have this wrist rest, and it’s not anything too exciting. It’s the width of the TKL body and it’ s magnetic so it just snaps into place, but I find the keyboard to be more comfortable without it. In terms of the driver software, everything is intuitive in terms of a lighting customization, your macros, your key bindings, the display dial settings too. It also seems like Mountain has really good communications with media and customers in terms of trying to add features and improve the overall user experience. I love that everything in the software is updated in real-time when you reposition the numpad for example, or when you plug in the display dial from the left side to the right side. And aside from a few crashes and weird bugs in earlier builds everything in the final build that I’m using now is completely stable.
So there you have it, the Mountain Everest keyboard is a very interesting product. The model that we looked at today was the Max version with all the attachments included, and it’s a really ambitious keyboard and I really am excited to see what comes next from Mountain as a brand. The multiple USB Type-C connections on all the attachments open up opportunities for other peripherals that can simply plug-and-play with this Everest keyboard. I am super impressed with what they have done with the software, it’s super stable, it feels complete in terms of functionality and ease of navigation. This whole concept of modularity is very well executed, giving you the ability to mount the numpad either to the body or with the USB cable, giving you the ability to mount that dial display on either the left or the right side. The angle adjustment of the keyboard is pretty genius with the magnets.
Overall, I don’t feel like there is a limitation with the Everest, aside from having ABS key caps instead of PBT. But of course everything is hot-swappable anyway, so you can definitely change the the keycaps and the switches to your liking. I’m really excited to see what the future of that display dial brings to the market, because it has a lot of potential for really cool information to display to the user. It is accessible, visible, and modular, what more could you ask for? Let me know what you think of the Everest keyboard. The baseline Core model is a bit expensive, but as a package I think they are definitely heading in the right direction.
Buy the Everest directly from Mountain below: