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HomeTechnologyGadgetsSamsung Odyssey Ark review: When bigger isn't always better | Engadget

Samsung Odyssey Ark review: When bigger isn’t always better | Engadget

The thought of sitting in entrance of a large 55-inch gaming monitor all day seems like heaven. Being capable of twist it right into a towering portrait mode? The stuff of my multi-tasking desires. That’s the pitch behind Samsung’s 55-inch 4K Odyssey Ark Monitor. As we noticed throughout our first preview, it is a genuinely distinctive behemoth of a show, one that may simply immerse you in each Microsoft Flight Simulator and towering Excel spreadsheets.

Gallery: Samsung Odyssey Ark | 16 Photos


Sure, you would simply plug a 55-inch TV into your PC, however with out the Ark’s excessive curve, it will be too large to comfortably use as a monitor. You additionally will not discover any 4K TVs with the Ark’s blazing quick 165Hz refresh fee and 1ms response time, not to mention its surprisingly stable sound system. The Odyssey Ark stands alone. But is it really value $3,500? That will depend on when you’re capable of dwell with its many annoyances (and when you do not assume too exhausting concerning the worth).

Pros

  • Gorgeous and immersive image
  • Excellent built-in audio system
  • Game streaming apps built-in
  • 165Hz refresh fee

Cons

  • Awful off-angle viewing
  • No DisplayPort or USB-C connections
  • Portrait mode isn’t very helpful
  • Samsung’s software program wants work
  • Expensive

Annoyance primary? This factor is a bear to arrange. Even with the assistance of two supply staff, it took round 20 minutes to get the (very heavy) Ark monitor appropriately hooked up to its (equally heavy) base. The complete unit weighs 91.5 kilos when put collectively, so you should definitely have a sturdy desk on the prepared. If that sounds a bit obscene, nicely, you would be appropriate. Samsung’s 55-inch QN90B NEO QLED TV weighs virtually half as a lot (48.3 kilos), whereas LG’s 65-inch C2 OLED TV clocks in at 72 kilos. Extreme heft is the unlucky worth you will must pay for a rotating monitor stand.

Samsung Odyssey Ark front view

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

As quickly as I sat in entrance of the Odyssey Ark, I understood why Samsung dared to construct it. We’ve already seen its extra-wide 49-inch gaming displays in motion. And, after all the corporate that pushed the bounds of cellphone screens would do the identical for PCs. Given Samsung’s strong TV enterprise, it is smart to discover the numerous different methods it might use 55-inch Mini LED panels. (The TV facet is the place we additionally noticed Samsung debut screens that would rotate into TikTok-friendly portrait mode.) The Ark might not be fully sensible, however for Samsung it serves as a showcase for a lot of of its show improvements.

Design-wise, the Odyssey Ark resembles Samsung’s TVs greater than its gaming displays. It has a sturdy metallic base (because it ought to, given its dimension), in addition to a clean metallic case surrounding the curvy display. It even comes with Samsung’s One Connect breakout-box, one of many firm’s extra intriguing TV innovations. It connects to the Ark over a single cable, whereas the field itself handles energy and your entire typical connections (4 HDMI 2.1 ports, an optical audio connection, 3.5mm headphone jack and two USB ports). While it was initially meant for screens you would be mounting on partitions, it is a welcome addition to the Odyssey Ark — no one needs to push a close to 100-pound beast round simply to get to HDMI ports.

Samsung Ark Odyssey one connect dock

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Samsung contains two methods to regulate the Ark: A easy distant with a directional pad and shortcuts for streaming apps like Netflix, in addition to a dial for shortly managing the Ark’s many alternative viewing modes. Both controllers are photo voltaic powered, so you will simply want to ensure they get a bit of sunshine to maintain operating. I’d think about that could possibly be a difficulty in window-less places of work like mine, but it surely would not be that robust to position the remotes by a window each few months. On the plus facet, they need to be capable to run indefinitely when you’re fortunate sufficient to have some gentle. (Solar cells might be charged by synthetic lighting, however not very effectively.)

Samsung Ark Odyssey remotes

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The Ark’s odd form, in addition to a number of LED lighting strips on the rear, are the key indicators that it isn’t a mere TV set. I’ve been in entrance of loads of curved screens earlier than, however nothing this excessive. The sides of the show virtually appear to be they’re attempting to embrace you with 4K Mini-LED goodness. It’s an efficient little bit of immersion whilst you’re viewing the Ark in its customary widescreen mode, paying homage to specialised theaters like LA’s Cinerama Dome. And in contrast to most TVs and displays, the Ark’s giant body permits it to accommodate a six speaker sound system (4 tweeters and two woofers), which delivers the audio punch of a medium-sized soundbar.

The mixture of expansive sound and a splendidly immersive image make the Odyssey Ark a very distinctive viewing expertise. Movies, TV exhibits, and even trailers felt like they have been drawing me into the motion, a lot in order that I barely seen the slight distortion from the curved sides of the display. But whereas the Ark’s candy spot is certainly very candy, displaying off the added brightness of Mini-LED and the expansive shade vary from its Quantum Dot show, its viewing angle is extremely restricted. Just a number of steps off the middle and also you instantly lose shade and readability. The curve giveth, the curve taketh away.

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