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Samsung Odyssey Ark assessment: When larger is not all the time higher

The thought of sitting in entrance of a large 55-inch gaming monitor all day appears like heaven. Having the ability to twist it right into a towering portrait mode? The stuff of my multi-tasking goals. That is 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 Images

Positive, you may simply plug a 55-inch TV into your PC, however with out the Ark’s excessive curve, it will be too huge to comfortably use as a monitor. You additionally will not discover any 4K TVs with the Ark’s blazing quick 165Hz refresh charge and 1ms response time, not to mention its surprisingly strong sound system. The Odyssey Ark stands alone. However is it really value $3,500? That relies on should you’re in a position to reside with its many annoyances (and should you do not assume too arduous concerning the value).

Execs

  • Beautiful and immersive image
  • Glorious built-in audio system
  • Sport streaming apps built-in
  • 165Hz refresh charge

Cons

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

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 accurately hooked up to its (equally heavy) base. Your entire unit weighs 91.5 kilos when put collectively, so you’ll want to have a sturdy desk on the prepared. If that sounds a bit obscene, properly, you would be right. 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. Excessive heft is the unlucky value 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 have already seen its extra-wide 49-inch gaming displays in motion. And, in fact 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 various different methods it may 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 easy metallic case surrounding the curvy display. It even comes with Samsung’s One Join 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). Whereas it was initially meant for screens you would be mounting on partitions, it is a welcome addition to the Odyssey Ark — no person desires 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 consists of two methods to manage the Ark: A easy distant with a directional pad and shortcuts for streaming apps like Netflix, in addition to a dial for rapidly managing the Ark’s many various viewing modes. Each controllers are photo voltaic powered, so you will simply want to verify they get a bit of sunshine to maintain working. I might think about that could possibly be a difficulty in window-less workplaces like mine, but it surely would not be that powerful to put the remotes by a window each few months. On the plus facet, they need to be capable of run indefinitely should you’re fortunate sufficient to have some mild. (Photo voltaic cells may 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 most important indicators that it is not a mere TV set. I have been in entrance of loads of curved screens earlier than, however nothing this excessive. The perimeters of the show virtually appear to be they’re making an attempt to embrace you with 4K Mini-LED goodness. It is an efficient little bit of immersion whilst you’re viewing the Ark in its normal widescreen mode, paying homage to specialised theaters like LA’s Cinerama Dome. And in contrast to most TVs and displays, the Ark’s massive body permits it to deal with a six speaker sound system (4 tweeters and two woofers), which delivers the audio punch of a medium-sized soundbar.

The mix of expansive sound and a splendidly immersive image make the Odyssey Ark a very distinctive viewing expertise. Films, TV reveals, 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. However whereas the Ark’s candy spot is certainly very candy, exhibiting off the added brightness of Mini-LED and the expansive coloration vary from its Quantum Dot show, its viewing angle is extremely restricted. Only a few steps off the middle and also you instantly lose coloration and readability. The curve giveth, the curve taketh away.