Keyboards. There’s a size for everyone from full-sized to tenkeyless to 60% and even 65%. The smaller 60% keyboards are designed for compact desk spaces and gamers, but they aren’t without their flaws. Due to the size, commonly used keys are doubled up, making them a bit more difficult to use at first.
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Our MOUNTAIN Everest 60 review looks at a compact 60% gaming keyboard with arrow keys, a detachable number pad, and is enthusiast-grade tuned out of the box. Read on to see why this keyboard earned an Editor’s Choice Award here at Techaeris.
Table of contents
The MOUNTAIN Everest 60 keyboard we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
- Compact 60% layout with arrow keys
- Lubed hot-swappable Mountain mechanical switches rated for 100M actuations
- Sophisticated multi-layered sound dampening
- Lubed & clipped genuine plate-mount Cherry stabilizers
- PBT double-shot keycaps
- Supports both 3-pin and 5-pin Cherry MX style mechanical switches
- Aluminum faceplate with 360° RGB lighting
- 3 USB Type-C ports (for connection/charging only)
- Per-key individual RGB lighting
- Upgradeable with MOUNTAIN Everest 60 Numpad
- Base Camp software
|3-Pin Hot-Swappable MOUNTAIN
|3 & 5-pin compatible
|Cherry (plate-mounted, lubricated)
|Custom, 64 key US-ANSI
|NKRO over USB
|1000Hz / 1ms
|PBT double-shot with translucent legends
|Up to 5 profiles
|Though FN Function Key
|Aluminum top cover, ABS bottom cover, Foam, Silicone
What’s in the box
- MOUNTAIN Everest 60 compact 60% mechanical gaming keyboard
- USB-A to USB-C cable (1.6m)
- 4x feet risers
- Keycap/switch puller
- MOUNTAIN logo ESC keycap
- Quick Start Guide
- MOUNTAIN Everest stickers
The MOUNTAIN Everest 60 is the second keyboard being offered up by the company. The first, the MOUNTAIN Everest Max, earned a Top Pick of 2021 Award here at Techaeris for its build quality, modularity, and performance. As I would expect, the Everest 60 features the same stellar, solid build quality as the Everest.
Before I get into the design further, why the Everest 60? Here’s what MOUNTAIN’s PR had to say:
Everest 60 was designed to shake up the 60% market with a number of features from the enthusiast keyboard space, a custom layout with arrow keys and upgradable numpad to broaden market appeal and ease some of the worries some may feel when committing to a smaller layout. Let me give you some background on our design approach for the Everest 60. As a starting point we set out to design and build the best keyboard in this segment. We took many inspirations from the enthusiast space where users spend countless hours modifying keyboards to tune them to perfection and put that directly into Everest 60:
• A layer of silicone filling the bottom case, adding heft and dampening noise
• One layer of foam underneath the PCB and another on top of the PCB to further improve the sound profile
• Factory-lubed MOUNTAIN switches (first product launch with our own switches)
• Genuine Cherry stabilizers, all hand clipped and lubed at the factory, effectively eliminating unpleasant rattle noises, and creating a smoother, more satisfying typing and gaming experience
• Hot-swappable and compatible with both 3- and 5-pin Cherry MX style switches
What’s more, we saw that while a large group of consumers prefer the small form factor of a 60% keyboard, there have been two things stopping many from jumping into this category:
• The lack of arrow keys
• Missing numpad / macro keys when switching from a pure gaming setup to content creation or work
We solved these by:
• Re-designing the PCB / layout to provide arrow keys while still maintaining a full-size backspace and enter keyMOUNTAIN PR
• We took our patented modular design from the original Everest and made Everest 60 upgradable with a numpad (sold separately). The 60% itself though was designed to be clean and minimalistic on its own. Magnetic side covers provide this clean look as no ports are visible.
Like the Everest Max, the Everest 60 has an exceptional build quality. The faceplate is aluminum, with a nice brushed finish on the outer bezels, which are uniform, unlike the Everest Max with its larger top bezel to accommodate the media dock. Underneath the keys, MOUNTAIN has forgone the brushed look and gone with a rough finish. Given the compactness of the keys, you can only see the finish around the edges. Just below the aluminum faceplate is a thin RGB LED strip that runs around all four corners.
The keyboard itself has five rows of full-sized keys, with no half-keys to be seen anywhere. So how did MOUNTAIN fit four full-sized arrow keys on a 60% keyboard? By reducing the size of the right shift key, removing the right CTRL key, and removing the right menu key which is common on other 60% keyboards. By doing so, the company was able to fit the left, down, and right arrow keys on the bottom row and a shift, up arrow, and Del key above it. While this works pretty well, the smaller shift key proved to be my nemesis for the first bit as I found myself hitting the up arrow instead of the right shift when I desired the shift functionality. Over time, I did find myself hitting the shift key more often than not when I needed to, but after a few weeks of use, I find I do still accidentally hit the up arrow from time to time. Underneath the PBT keycaps are MOUNTAIN’s mechanical switches, translucent for LED lighting. Our review unit came with the yellow Linear 45 and you can also choose a white Linear 45 Speed or blue Tactile 55 switch for the same price.
Along the back edge are three USB-C ports to connect the keyboard to your computer. I did test these for passthrough and while they charged my smartphone (slowly I might add) and powered a mouse through a USB-C hub (the mouse was non-functional even though the RGB lights lit up), they are power limited and primarily meant to connect the keyboard to your computer how you see fit. On that note, it’d be nice to see a future version act as a USB-C hub with the unused ports when connected through the third. On the left and right edge of the keyboard are magnetic covers. Removing these exposes a USB-C port to connect the optional numpad.
The bottom of the keyboard features the same adjustable feet riser system as the Everest Max. The front edge has three rubber-like elongated feet while the back has two removable round feet. Once removed, you can stack up to two risers before placing the foot back on it, allowing you to choose between three angles as per your preference. The bottom is also where the MOUNTAIN and Everest branding is visible.
While still compact, it is slightly larger than other 60% keyboards I’ve reviewed in the past. Measuring 12″ wide, 4.5″ deep, and 1.25″ in height (including the keycaps), it is about 1/2″ wider and deeper than other keyboards. However, it is about 1/4″ shorter in height. To be fair, this extra width and depth come from the additional bezel around the edge of the keyboard, whereas the actual footprint of the keys is about the same as other 60% keyboards. In addition, as with other keyboards in this form factor, there are no caps or num lock indicator lights, but you can enable an indicator of sorts through the optional software.
The included cable is nicely braided and comes in at just under 5.25′ in length, making it suitable for most setups.
As for branding, unless you use the included silver MOUNTAIN logo ESC keycap, there is none visible on the keyboard. This gives it a nice clean finish and look.
Ease of Use
Like most keyboards, the MOUNTAIN Everest 60 compact 60% mechanical gaming keyboard can be used out of the box. Plug the included USB cable into your choice of one of the three USB-C ports on the back edge of the keyboard, then plug the other into your computer or laptop.
You’ll want to keep the Quick Start Guide handy for the first bit as it shows the shortcuts for various functions like switching the backlight mode and brightness, taking screenshots, adjusting volume, and more. You can also toggle between different profiles once you have them set up using the optional software.
Even though the Base Camp software is optional, you’ll want to install it if to only keep the Everest 60 compact gaming keyboard up to date. The Base Camp application lets you check and update your firmware, set up different profiles, adjust the lighting, change key bindings, create macros, and disable certain key combinations like Alt + F4. You can also enable indicator LEDs for caps, scroll, and num lock. When enabled, the caps lock, scroll lock, and num lock key will glow white and have no lighting when disabled. A cool feature, in theory, it really only works when the rest of the under key lighting is disabled as it tends to blend in with the other RGB LEDs.
Overall, Base Camp is straightforward to use.
When it comes to gaming, keyboard performance is key. As mentioned, our review unit came with MOUNTAIN’s Linear 45 switches. I have to admit, when I first started using the keyboard, I was impressed with how smooth and responsive the company’s first switches were. All three choices of switches come factory-lubricated, which no doubt helps with the smoothness. The Linear 45 and 45 Speed both come with a 45g actuation force while the Tactile 55 has a 55g actuation force. The Linear 45 and Tactile 55 have 2mm pre-travel with 4mm total travel and the Linear 45 Speed cuts this down with 1.1mm pre-travel and 3.4mm total travel for even faster response times. The switches are also hot-swappable, and you can mix and match depending on your gaming preferences.
MOUNTAIN takes pride in mentioning that its keyboards come with “enthusiast-grade tuning,” and it shows. The dense silicone insert and foam layer both work to reduce keyboard noise, and this is a relatively quiet mechanical keyboard. All stabilizers are manually lubricated as well, to reduce rattle sounds, and the Cherry stabilizers are clipped and lubed for a smoother typing experience.
As far as gaming is concerned, I had no issues with the MOUNTAIN Linear 45 switches. Keystrokes were as responsive as I would expect and want, and I had no problems with keystrokes not registering or double firing. When it comes to typing, I was able to maintain my usual 100 wpm with nearly perfect accuracy.
There are many accessories available for the MOUNTAIN Everest 60 compact 60% mechanical gaming keyboard. These include different switches, coloured keycaps, and a detachable numpad. We were also sent the numpad with our review unit and had a chance to test it out as well.
The numpad has the same solid build quality as the Everest 60. With its full-sized number keys, it has covers on the left and right sides to hide the USB-C connector. Once removed, a slider on the bottom allows the user to extend the USB-C connector on the left or right side, depending on which side of the Everest 60 you want the numpad on. The numpad connects easily, sliding into the USB-C port on the keyboard with ease. Once connected, it is fully usable and features the same 360° RGB LED light strip as the keyboard, completing the cohesive look of the keyboard.
If you’re strictly gaming, you can easily skip the numpad. If like most people, you are doing a combination of gaming and productivity work, the numpad is a solid accessory to add another level of productivity to the Everest 60.
As far as pricing is concerned, the MOUNTAIN Everest 60 compact 60% gaming keyboard retails for US$139.99 — regardless of switch type. The optional numpad can be added on for another $49.99. A 90 pack of switches is also available for $39.99, 110 will set you back $49.99, and a coloured keycap set is available for $34.99. If you want to save a few dollars, you can get the keyboard and keycap bundle for $159.99.
While you can get many 60% keyboards for cheaper, the Mountain Everest 60 is reasonably priced and in the same ballpark as other premium offerings from other OEMs. In addition, you’re getting a full set of number keys and the option to easily add a numpad to the keyboard for additional productivity. The performance and different switches available also add extra value.
If you’ve held off on downsizing to a 60% gaming keyboard because of the lack of dedicated arrow keys or a numpad option, the MOUNTAIN Everest 60 compact 60% gaming keyboard takes care of both of these issues. With great smooth performance (at least on the MOUNTAIN linear switches I tested), solid build quality, and a decent price point, this keyboard easily wins an Editor’s Choice Award as our pick for compact 60% keyboards here at Techaeris. MOUNTAIN aspired to build the best 60% keyboard in the market, and, in my opinion, they succeeded.