Every once in a while, a product comes out that breaks the barrier and offers an unconventional design philosophy. This has been a rare occurrence in the peripheral market since almost all the current-gen products have a similar look and feel, with each brand offering its own unique theme with its own set of proprietary software solutions. The end result is a product that is preferred by users either on the basis of their past usage of products from the same brand or the value it may offer over a competing brand.
Now newcomer, Mountain, is planning to change the game with its innovative designs formed by a team of passionate enthusiasts & professionals who have come together to offer peripherals that break the past barriers. Two years ago, Mountain launched its Everest Max product which happens to be their flagship product designed with the motto of offering “Peak Performance”. The keyboard rocks a surprisingly similar yet also an unfamiliar design which we haven’t seen on a keyboard for a while so it’s time we finally gave a look at this product ourselves and see if this is really the forward path that keyboards should be taking.
Everest Mountain Max, Reaching The Peak of Keyboard Design
The Mountain Everest Keyboard lineup comes in four flavors, the fully-decked out “Max”, the Core & Core barebone which features the keyboard itself minus the add-ons and finally, the low-profile Everest 60. We were sent both the Everest Max and Everest 60 for our testing but for this review, I will focus entirely on the Everest Max. So first of all, let’s talk about the specifications which are listed below.
Mountain’s Everest Max keyboard comes in two color palettes, either you can go with the Gunmetal Gray or the Midnight black flavor. We decided to go with the Gunmetal Gray theme & it looks really good with a black colored cloth mat on your desktop.
|Color||Gunmetal Gray/Midnight Black|
|Switch Type||3-Pin Cherry MX, hot-swappable|
|Stabilizer||Cherry (plate-mounted, lubricated)|
|Layout||Standard ANSI / ISO|
|Key Rollover||NKRO over USB|
|Polling Rate||1000Hz / 1ms|
|Keycaps||ABS (PBT Optional)|
|Onboard memory||Up to 5 profiles|
|On-the-Fly System||Through FN Function Key|
|Interface||USB 3.2 Gen 1|
|Product Dimensions (LxWxH)||265x461x43mm (LxWxH)|
For those who want stealthier looks for their setups, there’s always the midnight black theme that you can get. Now for the keyboard itself, the base unit measures 154x366x41mm (LxWxH) and weighs 892 grams but considering that we have the Everest Max which rocks a handrest and an additional modular board, the dimensions raise up to 265x461x43mm (LxWxH) and the weight also increases to 1373 grams.
As for the keyboard itself, this is virtually the same variant as the Everest Core and comes with the 3-pin Cherry MX switches that are hot-swappable, a Stabilizer unit designed by Cherry which rocks a plate-mounted design (lubricated), fully-backlight RGB LEDs, 1000Hz / 1ms polling rate, a Cortex M0 ARM chip based MCU and onboard memory to save up to 5 profiles. The design itself is a fully aluminum (ABS) body with optional PBT. This is true for both the keyboard and the Numpad. As for the Numpad, it comes with a full Numpad and 4 Media buttons that offer easy access to any shortcut that you can assign to them. Furthermore, the media keys feature a 72x72px TFT LCD that can be customized through the software. This allows you to set virtually any image that you want for some cool customization.
The palm rest comes with a PU-Leather design and is magnetic so it can easily be attached to the main keyboard. The magnets lock into place without any issues and the leather is soft, allowing for better comfort under your palm compared to a semi-leather design used by other manufacturers. The palm rest does only cover the length of the keyboard so the space beneath the dock is left out. This is not a major deal but it may be looked upon in a future variant of the Everest Max series. The one thing I like about the Everest Max is that it has a fully ambidextrous design, allowing you to mount the modular bays to whichever side you find the most comfortable for your own use. The Numpad can be equipped on both, the right and left sides while the Media Dock can be set on the top-left or top-right corners of the keyboard.
|Product Dimensions||265x461x43mm (LxWxH)|
|Materials||Aluminum, ABS (PBT optional)|
|Media Dock Display||RGB TFT IPS 240x204px|
|Media Dock keys||4: media, 1: display control|
|Display Keys||4: 72x72px per key TFT LCD|
|Palm Rest||Magnetic, covered in PU-Leather|
|Software Support||Base Camp (Windows only)|
|Included Accessories||Keycap & Switch combo removal tool
USB Type-C to C cable (15cm)
USB Type-A to C cable (2m)
Extra Cherry MX Switch x5
Extra ESC keycap x1
Now, let’s talk about the Media Dock. This is another unique aspect of the Mountain Everest Max keyboard which comes with a larger 240×204 pixel TFT screen. It is a colored display and comes with a lot of useful features. First of all, the Media Dock has a total of 5 buttons which include Playback Previous, Playback Next, Pause/Start, Mute, and the farthest switch on the right offering control for the media display itself. There are small LEDs on the left side of the dock which let you know whether a Function key is enabled or disabled along with the indicator for the activated Max profile.
The Media display acts as a dial which has a total of 8 functionalities. The first is the Time and Date which turns the Dial into a mini clock, stopwatch, or timer, second is the profile menu which allows you to select from 5 profiles stored within the Base Camp software, the third is the Lightning panel that also lets you select from 9 profiles, 8 of which are pre-configured and one is a custom profile that you can set through the Base Camp software, fourth is the Volume button and the dial feels really nice when lowering or raising the volume level with smooth animation on the screen that makes it feel like you are doing it in real life and the same goes for the brightness adjustment option.
One thing I noted is that the brightness of the keyboard is slightly towards the dim side and the RGBs dont feel as bright as some other gaming-esque keyboards and that is by no means a bad thing. There’s also an enthusiast-friendly “PC Info’ menu which gives you real-time monitoring stats such as CPU utilization, Ram usage, fan speed, temperatures, and FPS in games. It’s things like these that I like about the Everest Max a lot and shows that true PC enthusiasts have spent a good time designing this keyboard. Next up, we have the APM feature which displays the number of actions you have made on the keyboard within a minute. Again, this is really good if you are one of those persons who like to brag about how fast you can type or just smash your keyboard keys. And lastly, we have the custom mode which lets you configure a fully custom profile for the Media Dock through the Base Camp software.
Mountain Everest Max Unboxing & First Look
The packaging of the Mountain Everest Max is just as unconventional as the keyboard itself. I literally thought I was opening up a box with a pair of Nike shoes with the tick in the opening.
The keyboard comes within a large rectangular box that has a huge “Reach Your Summit” quote. It is part of the Mountain Philosophy to deliver a product that lets you excel at what you do best by offering the best design and performance.
The back and sides of the box feature several features that the keyboard has to offer such as the ones we detailed above.
When you open the box, the flip cover reveals a blueprint-like featurette that shows some of the many aspects of the keyboard.
The keyboard comes in a plastic wrap and right below the keyboard is the palm rest which is also held by foam and comes in a plastic wrap too.
At the bottom of the box, you’ll find a sliding container that contains all of the accessories such as the Media Dock, Numpad, USB cables, and documentation.
All this packaging reeks is “Premium” and the small boxes containing the accessories are also a really well-thought touch.
You can see that the Everest Max keyboard with its Gunmetal Gray design looks really nice with a solid brushed metal aluminum body. There are a total of four USB Type-C docking bays on the top and sides of the keyboard where you can dock the Media Dock and Numpad.
The keyboard is fully modular and comes with a 2m long USB Type-C cable that is attached to the middle back port. I believe that 2m is a fairly reasonable length for a standard and high-end setup.
There’s also a standard USB connector if you plan on using that or you can run a different USB device off of that port.
The accessories box comes with a standard “ESC” key since the one attached to the board has a Mountain logo on it so for those who want to go old school, Mountain gives you the option. Plus, there are a total of 8 magnetic rises, a tool for removing the keycaps/switches, and a total of five different switches bundled in the package that you can equip and find which one better suits your preferences.
The Everest Max features a fully swappable keyboard PCB so if you ever plan on customizing the whole board, that can be done so with ease.
One issue that I think Mountain should work on is that the magnetic docks for the modular bays are not that solid. Even slightly adjusting the keyboard can remove the modular bays such as the Numpad and the palm rest. Now reattaching them isn’t that hard but it does become an annyoance.
Mountain Everest Max – Thoughts on Usage & Software
As far as my experience goes in terms of usage, the unit I received was equipped with the Cherry MX Red switches. I had previously been using the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum with Cherry MX Brown switches as my daily driver. Prior to that, I was using the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate with its own Razer switches. My experience on all three keyboards has been particularly great. The thing that let me down about Razer was that the switches gave away after a year or so of usage. Corsair’s K95 did last much longer but in its three years or so life cycle that it accompanied me, its volume dial gave away function and the keyboard itself was too bulky to play around with. It wasn’t the big of a deal for me since I have huge hands and moving from one side to another isn’t an issue but I can see how that can bother someone with smaller hands.
Especially in games or typing extra long articles (which is my daily job), I found the Corsair keyboard to be not that big of an upgrade from the Razer Black widow but it definitely came with a stunning design that made me keep it on my desk for so long. But using the Mountain Everest Max for the first time, I had to say farewell to my Corsair friend. The Everest Max just feels much nicer built and comes within a form factor that is best built for all sorts of gamers and long-form writers. Playing Halo Infinite or Doom Eternal on the keyboard was a joy and while I do miss the K95 customizable Macro keys (not having to go in the Media Dock to load them through custom profiles), I can still do the same thing on a primary button on the Everest Max.
What I like about my keyboard is that it’s fast, responsive, and doesn’t lag out when switching between different profiles. The Cherry MX red switches are a nice switch (see what I did there?) from the Cherry MX Brown ones I was previously using. Mountain has used Genuine Cherry stabilizers that are fine-tuned with Glaze GPL 205 Grade o, offering smooth and super tactile functionality. I mean your hands won’t get tired by using this keyboard for hours upon hours.
I was also checking out a few complaints regarding the Base Camp software that were from a few years back but I wasn’t able to face any such issues. It is likely that Mountain has sorted out those issues through its firmware and software updates over the past couple of months & strengthened its software control for its already awesome hardware. Furthermore, since the keyboard has built-in memory, it doesn’t need Base camp to remain up and running in the background to have custom profiles loaded up.
So with that said, let’s talk about pricing. We now know that the Everest Max is a premium product and you’ll be paying top dollar to get your hands on one. The Max is priced at €249,99 while the Core (Base model) is priced at €149,99. Mountain is charging €100 more for the added Media Dock and Numpad along with the additional accessories that come with the Max.
Now while I’d say that it’s fair to charge that much for a high-end keyboard, I believe it is slightly towards the high side but then you also see other high-end keyboards from other companies that are offering a traditional design around the same price bracket. The Core itself is an extremely well-built keyboard that will offer a sleek and slim yet performant design but if you want to go all out, you can either upgrade your Core to Max by purchasing the extra components separately or just be “Take My Wallet” and Max yourself out with the Everest Max. The Mountain Everest Max is an awesome keyboard one that truly unchains itself from the conventional barriers that the keyboard segment has not come out from for several decades!
Mountain Maxes Out Keyboard Innovation With Everest Max!
The post Everest Max Keyboard Review: Maximum Customizability, Maximum Modularity, This Is Awesome! by Hassan Mujtaba appeared first on Wccftech.
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