The Samsung Odyssey Ark (2023) only sees a couple of improvements compared to its predecessor in the form of an enhanced Multi View mode and inclusion of a KVM switch to ensure more seamless multitasking. Otherwise it packs the same fantastic display specs as its predecessor, as well as the handy rotating screen.
- Rotating screen:The Ark can be used both in landscape and portrait mode.
- KWM Switch:A connected keyboard and mouse can control all hooked-up devices.
- 4K resolution: The Ark supports a 3840×2160 screen resolution for super-sharp imagery.
The Samsung Odyssey Ark wowed with its remarkable party trick when it launched back in 2022. This is a behemoth 55-inch curved 4K gaming monitor that can be flipped between portrait and landscape modes – and yes, it looks just as intriguing as it sounds.
Jump forward to 2023, and Samsung has decided to upgrade the already superb gaming monitor. Samsung hasn’t made any alterations to the picture or design, and it hasn’t really needed to given the monitor’s quality.
Instead, Samsung has added a Multi View mode that allows you to display four different sources simultaneously for some multi-tasking viewing. Secondly, there’s support for the KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) feature, making it possible to control multiple devices with a single mouse and keyboard setup.
These may not be grand-scale upgrades, but these new features complement the massive screen to make an even more compelling package. Does the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2023) hold up in practice? Here are my first impressions after checking out the monitor at Gamescom 2023.
Design and features
- Rotatable 55-inch screen
- Now supports 4 inputs simultaneously
- New inclusion of KVM Switch
Even with the knowledge that the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2023) has a 55-inch curved display, I was still in shock seeing how gigantic this monitor is up close.
The Ark is essentially the size of a living room TV, so you might struggle to find an easy fit on your desktop. The stand is large yet slender, with enough weight to keep the monitor securely rooted in place.
It has a 1000R curvature, which is the same as the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 57-inch, although doesn’t wrap around my head quite as much since it sports a narrower design with a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio.
The real party piece here is the monitor’s ability to be flipped between a vertical and horizontal alignment. It sounds absurd to have a 55-inch monitor in a portrait alignment, but in practice it can have a lot of handy use cases.
When flipped upright, the monitor allows you to display three pictures stacked on top of one another, with the panel curving over the top of your head. This may prove very useful for those who crave a multi-monitor setup to enhance productivity.
Samsung has introduced a new capability, called Samsung Multi View, which allows you to display pictures of four separate devices simultaneously. For example, you’re able to plug in a PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and a gaming PC at the same time, with a split-screen style approach showing all four outputs segmented on the 55-inch panel.
The other new feature for the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2023) model is the KVM Switch, which allows you to control multiple devices with a single keyboard and mouse setup. If there’s ever a reason why you’d need to control four PCs simultaneously, hooking them up to the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2023) would allow you to do so seamlessly.
There are multiple methods of control for the Ark. There’s a joystick built into the rear, while it also comes bundled with a TV-style remote and the Ark Dial that can rotate the screen or adjust the screen ratio in an instant.
Image Quality and Performance
- Quantum Mini LED screen technology
- 4K resolution and 165Hz refresh rate
- Exact same display as previous model
Samsung pretty much nailed the display of the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2022) the first time around, and it hasn’t made any tweaks to the new 2023 edition.
The Samsung Odyssey Ark sports a 55-inch Quantum Mini LED panel with a 4K resolution. Unfortunately, the monitor was locked to a cycling tech demo at the Gamescom stand, so I wasn’t able to play a game and get a better feel of the picture quality.
However, Samsung is using the exact same panel as the one from the 2022 edition, so you can check out our review to get a good grasp of the panel. In short, our reviewer said: “The Ark delivers brilliant image performance straight out of the box, with an incredible black point of 0.02 nits the highlight.”
This means its ability to produce realistic dark blacks for dark scenery is only matched by an OLED screen. And thanks to the Mini LED technology here, the Ark is capable of a remarkable peak brightness of 1000 nits.
The one minor weakness of the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2023) is the refresh rate, which comes at just 165Hz. That’s fine for a mainstream monitor, but a little disappointing for one around a £2000/$2000 price point. Few people will admittedly have a graphics card that can achieve a plus 165fps performance at 4K, but it would still be nice to have the option to choose between a high resolution and fast refresh rate.
The Samsung Odyssey Ark (2023) feels more like a minor correction than a significant upgrade. The Multi View mode is far more useful now, supporting outputs from four separate devices rather than just one. While KVM allows you to control all of those devices with a single keyboard and mouse setup to allow for seamless multitasking.
Elsewhere, Samsung left the design and screen untouched, but since the original was already so good, there’s little headroom for improvement. So while the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2023) has only seen a minor upgrade, it’s still great to see Samsung ironing out the kinks to make this superb TV-size gaming monitor that little bit better.