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First Impressions: Samsung Odyssey Ark Review

First Impressions

The Samsung Odyssey Ark may catch all of the headlines for its eye-catching ability to be flipped into a vertical alignment for stacked multi-tasking, but it’s the impressive Quantum Mini LED screen technology, 4K resolution and the massive 55-inch curved panel that ensure this is one of the most exciting gaming monitors in 2022.

Key Features

  • 55-inch curved screen:The new Samsung gaming monitor has a massive 55-inch screen with a 1000R curvature
  • 4K resolution:Samsung has confirmed it features a 4K resolution with a pin-sharp picture quality
  • Can be rotated 90 degrees:The Ark can by turned at a 90-degree angle to stack three different pictures for multi-taksing

Introduction

During CES 2022, Samsung unveiled a new 55-inch curved widescreen gaming monitor called the Odyssey Ark. That’s even larger than Samsung’s fantastic Odyssey Neo G9 monitor we’ve previously reviewed. 

But the size isn’t the only reason to get excited by the Ark. It also features a special stand that allows you to rotate it into a vertical position. Seeing this huge monitor standing upright is a sight to behold, especially since the screen is curved. 

I was able to see this remarkable gaming monitor in person at the CES 2022 show floor, so here are my first impressions. 

Design

  • Can be rotated at 90-degree angle for Multi View
  • Features a massive 55-inch curved panel
  • 16:9 aspect ratio ensures games won’t look stretched

The Samsung Odyssey Ark has a lot of impressive features, but its ability to be flipped up into a vertical position is definitely the most eye-catching of them all. 

Seeing the massive 55-inch display standing tall is an absolute marvel, with the panel curving (with a 1000R curvature) right over your head. Since I haven’t seen anything like this before, it feels very futuristic like something out of Star Trek. But then I started thinking, why would you want a vertical curved monitor like this?

Samsung showed off a couple of demos, with the Odyssey Ark capable of stacking three different displays on top of each other. For the demo, the monitor displayed a game, a Twitch stream and a view of the four friends on video chat simultaneously. And since there’s plenty of screen space here, the image quality of the display was not compromised or squashed down. 

Samsung Odyssey Ark

Samsung was unable to confirm how this Multi View feature works, whether it uses three different input sources at once, or requires the likes of Windows 11 to snap each window in place. I wasn’t able to play around with the monitor to find out either, so we’ll have to wait until review samples arrive to determine how easy it is to set up. 

I’m personally a little unconvinced by the usefulness of such a large widescreen gaming monitor with a vertical alignment. I can see the benefits of multitasking to some extent, but I think most people would prefer to have their game stretched out in the horizontal layout instead, so a view of their friends’ faces isn’t taking up precious screen space. 

Many gamers like to be totally immersed in the experience, so to have multiple other screens popping up could end up becoming an unwelcome distraction. But it’s still nevertheless a great option to have.

Most gamers will likely use the Samsung Odyssey Ark in the more traditional horizontal alignment, and I’m pleased to say it looks fantastic in this position. It’s not quite as wide as the Odyssey G9 monitor, but it’s taller and so ends up having a larger diagonal 55-inch size compared to the G9’s 49 inches. 

Since it has a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, you probably won’t have to deal with any black bars when watching any films or games that don’t support the ultra-wide display of the G9. In fact, the Samsung Odyssey Ark arguably looks more like a TV than a gaming monitor, providing a super-immersive experience on your desktop. 

Picture quality

  • Quantum Mini LED ensures a top-notch picture quality
  • 4K resolution makes supported content look pin sharp
  • Touted 165Hz refresh rate may not sway competitive gamers

I wasn’t able to actually use the Samsung Odyssey Ark and load up some games, as it was being presented on the CES 2022 show floor, but it certainly looked great when presenting all of the demoed footage. 

The Ark features Quantum Mini LED, just like the recent Odyssey Neo G9 monitor. This screen technology helps to boost the brightness and contrast, likely resulting in one of the best picture quality you can currently find on a gaming monitor. 

Samsung Odyssey Ark

It also features a 4K resolution and a 1ms response time. The monitor reportedly has a 165Hz refresh rate, although this spec could apparently change before it goes on sale later this year. 

If the 165hz refresh rate is accurate, then the Samsung Odyssey Ark probably isn’t the best option for eSport players who want the fastest performance possible, as you’ll be able to find higher refresh rate on cheaper monitors. 

But this gaming monitor is all about outstanding picture quality on a super-sized screen, with an outstanding spec sheet that should please the majority of PC gamers. It could well be an ideal option for PS5 and Xbox Series X owners too. 

Initial Verdict

It’s obviously far too early to deliver any final verdicts on this gigantic gaming monitor, as I’ve only seen it on the CES showfloor so far and haven’t been able to play any games on it. We don’t even know the price just yet, which I’m expecting to be pretty extravagant. 

But I have to say that I’m very impressed with the Samsung Odyssey Ark so far. The capability to spin it 90 degrees for a vertical position may not be for everyone, but the curved 4K panel looks to have all the specs to ensure one of the absolute best picture quality you can currently find on a gaming monitor. This will certainly be one of the standout gaming monitor releases of the year. 

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