SPECIFICATIONS AT A GLANCE:
- Keyboard Layout: 80% with modular numeric keypad
- Switch Type: CHERRY MX RED, BROWN, BLUE, SPEED SILVER, SILENT RED
- LED Color: RGB LEDs
- Makro Keys: All keys
- Matrix: N-Key-Rollover
- Software: Base Camp
- Integrated Memory: Yes, up to 5 profiles
- Media Keys: Available on modular dock incl. control wheel
- Palm Rest: Yes
- Dimensions: 26,5 x 46,1 x 4,3 cm (without modules: 15,4 x 36,6 x 4,1 cm)
- Weight: 1373 grams (without modules: 892 grams)
- Special features: modularity, hot-swap-enabled PCB, included test switches, display keys
MOUNTAIN EVEREST MAX IN DETAIL
The Everest Max is unique in several aspects. Its modular extensions alone are an outstanding feature, but manufacturer Mountain does not stop there. Even the configurable display buttons are usually reserved for dedicated streaming peripherals. The icing on the cake in terms of customizability is the hot-swap-enabled PCB, which enables switching to a different switch characteristic without any hassle. The keyboard is rounded off by a magnetic palm rest, a USB 3.2 Gen1 passthrough port and innovative feet. All in all, the Everest Max is the most daring keyboard concept we have presented on our blog so far.
DESIGN AND ERGONOMICS
The heart of the Everest Max presents itself in an 80% layout with a top plate made of high-quality aluminum and slightly protruding keys. The latter highlight the RGB illumination of the built-in switches particularly well. For ergonomic use, Mountain includes a magnetically attached palm rest with imitation leather cover for the Everest Max. The feet are also magnetically expandable: the manufacturer has come up with special modular columns that can be extended in level by individual 'slices'. These offer significantly more flexibility than usual.
The special thing about the Everest Max, however, is its modular extensions, which turn it from a compact 80% keyboard to a full standard layout with some additional keys when needed. This leads us to the feature set.
FEATURE SET AND ACCESSORIES
The Mountain Everest Max comes with a modular numeric keypad in the style of the main keyboard. Four additional display keys are available at the upper edge, to which individual macros and functions can be bound. You can then assign a freely selectable icon to the small 72x72-pixel TFT screens via software. Especially for streamers, this might be an interesting alternative to a dedicated stream deck with a total of 20 possible assignment combinations through 5 profiles.
The numeric keypad can be attached in two positions via USB-C, depending on preference: Either on the right side as usual or, if you want more space for the mouse or if you are left-handed, on the left side of the upper edge. Alternatively, you can place the numeric keypad away from the keyboard itself with the included 15-centimeter extension cable and use it as a separate keypad.
Likewise, the modular media dock can be attached to the upper left or right edge via USB-C. This unlocks access to a dedicated control wheel with a 240x240 pixel TFT screen alongside common media functions. The dial offers a number of functions and allows, for example, switching between RGB or macro profiles as well as displaying information about the computer's operation.
MODULARITY WITH ATTENTION TO DETAIL
The idea of maximum customizability is underscored by the hot-swap-enabled PCB. Both keycaps and switches can be quickly and easily removed and replaced with the help of an included tool. The manufacturer gives a taste of the different switching characteristics via included test switches. A great idea!
The connection cable to the computer can also be exchanged for another USB-C cable if desired, although the included cable is pretty impressive with a braided fabric sleeve and a length of 2 meters. A USB 3.2 Gen1 passthrough port at the back of the keyboard provides additional flexibility when connecting peripherals.
Mountain uses small tricks add finishing touches to the typing experience. For example, there is a sound-absorbing foam mat underneath the PCB and the stabilizers have been lubricated with additional grease. Of course, the keyboard also has N-key rollover, so that simultaneous and fast actuation of numerous keys does not cause any problems.
ILLUMINATION AND SOFTWARE
Underneath the simple double-shot ABS keycaps we find individually controllable RGB illumination with up to 16.8 million colors. In the accompanying Base Camp software (or directly via the media dock's rotary wheel) you can choose between a number of lighting effects such as wave, tornado and others. The software tool also allows you to set up different profiles and define macro configurations. Last but not least, the icons as well as the functions of the display keys and a screen saver of the wheel can be freely set. Up to 5 different profiles can be stored in the onboard memory.
CHERRY MX SWITCHES
The Mountain Everest Max is available with a wide range of CHERRY MX switches. Especially lovers of linear switching characteristics can choose between many options, such as MX RED, MX SILENT RED and MX SPEED SILVER. For frequent typists, the tactile MX BROWN and MX BLUE with noise feedback are two popular options.
Our model comes equipped with the linear MX RED. Actuating after a short pre-travel of 2.0 millimeters, these switches enable quick gaming reactions just when you need them. They bottom out at 4.0 millimeters. Add to this their characteristically low operating force of 45 centinewtons allowing for swift key presses and you can see why MX RED switches are the most popular option among gamers.
Newcomer Mountain sets its ambitions high with the Everest Max and actually manages to compete with CORSAIR's high-end K100 model with its very first model. The comparison is strongly inspired by the multifunctional control wheel as well as the price range, but the number pad's display buttons can also replace some functions of the Elgato Stream Deck (also distributed by CORSAIR). With a modular approach, Mountain goes one step further and offers a unique solution to both left-handed users and users with multiple application purposes. Overall, the keyboard knows how to convince with its well thought-out customization options and innovative features. At the same time, the manufacturer charges quite a bit for its product quality with an MSRP of €249.99. So, while the purchase decision depends significantly on the individual budget, the breath of fresh air that Mountain brings to the keyboard market with this excellent debut will be an advantage for all keyboard lovers.