Samsung’s 55-inch Odyssey Ark: Taking gaming monitors to a whole new dimension

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2022 was a great year for monitors. We’ve already got the world’s first QD-OLED monitor from Alienware, and another one on the way from MSI. And earlier this summer, Sony joined the fray with its new Inzone gaming hardware. But now Samsung is taking things to a whole new level with the Odyssey Ark.

Featuring a huge quantum mini LED panel with a 1000R curve, the Ark delivers an immersive experience with great visuals and surprisingly good sound. Not only does Samsung claim the Ark is the world’s first 55-inch monitor with a 4K resolution, 165 Hz refresh rate and a 1 ms response time, you also get support for HDR 10+ and Dolby Atmos audio. And while the sound on many monitors is often an afterthought (assuming they can even reproduce anything), the Ark has a total of six speakers: one in each corner and two woofers in the back. And in combination, Samsung says the Ark’s speakers are designed to create a dome of sound.

And now that I’ve had the chance to see this thing in person, I can say that this monitor is unlike anything else on the market. Even compared to other ultra-wide screens, the Ark’s dimensions allow you to wrap around you like a high-tech cocoon. The colors are rich and thanks to the matte finish you don’t have to worry about reflections ruining your graphics. The monitor also supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro for VRR, so you get the best performance whether you’re gaming on a console or a PC. And while you won’t see a pure black like you would with an OLED screen, Samsung says the Ark’s contrast is 4 times better than the previous generation of monitors.

To make it easy to operate the Ark, Samsung provides not one but two remotes, both of which have built-in solar panels so you don’t have to worry about keeping them charged. The first remote is similar to what you’d get with a TV, but the one that feels a little more special is the wireless Ark Dial. Allows you to quickly change video settings, adjust volume, and switch between the monitor’s special display modes. It’s super easy to use, and best of all, it means you don’t have to reach back and fumble with hidden buttons or a joystick like many competing monitors.

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The best thing about the Ark is all the modes and features Samsung has included to help you get the most out of this massive panel. First up, there’s Flex Move Screen, which lets you resize and move your content, you know, in case you don’t need the Ark’s full 55 inches. There’s also Samsung’s Gaming Hub that natively supports game streaming platforms like NVIDIA GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Google Stadia. You even get RGB lighting on the back, not that you can really see it with that much screen between you and the back of the screen.

But my favorite thing is the Multi View mode, which lets you open up to three different apps at once, including the ability to move and resize windows the way you want. That means you can game while having a movie and social media to go with it, or you can double down by having two games open plus YouTube, or pretty much anything in between. And if there’s a layout that particularly appeals to you, you can save that layout so you can access everything at the touch of a button next time. The only caveat is that due to a limitation of HDMI, you can only display content from the Ark’s built-in apps and one external device at a time. So while you can connect a console and a PC at the same time thanks to support for four HDMI ports (all of which are HDMI 2.1), you can’t display content from both at the same time.

Gallery: Samsung Odyssey Ark hands-on photos | 12 photos


Finally, there’s the Ark’s special move, which is able to rotate into portrait mode, or as Samsung calls it, Cockpit mode. You still get support for all of the monitor’s functions, such as Multi View and Flex Move, but now on a screen that curves up and over your head. And you know what, it really does feel like you’re sitting in the pilot’s seat on an airplane. My only regret is that I wish I’d like a shoot ’em up. could have installed Ikaruga, so I could really take advantage of the Ark’s verticality in Cockpit mode. And if you want a huge new screen but don’t have a lot of desk space, Samsung even includes a VESA wall mount in the box.

That said, starting at $3,500, the Odyssey Ark is a big financial commitment for anyone. But if none of the other monitors released this year are big enough for you, Samsung’s new flagship gaming monitor could be the huge centerpiece your home battle station needs.

Pre-orders for the Odyssey Ark start today, and when combined with pre-order discounts, potential customers can save up to $300 before the sale officially goes live sometime in early September.

All products recommended by Engadget have been selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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