This Massive Monitor Is a Gaming Powerhouse

The Samsung Odyssey Ark is the most absurd and amazing gaming monitor. This 55-inch curved display is the size of a TV, and it can seamlessly switch from landscape to portrait mode thanks to the swivel stand. You can game on the full 55-inch screen, shrink the display down for a more focused session, or place multiple inputs on the screen simultaneously to keep an eye on other apps.

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With 4K resolution, a 165Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, this massive screen is ready for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X gaming. The included TV apps and connectivity allow this monitor to handle all your entertainment needs. It’s a tempting option on a desk or a TV stand, and the anti-glare coating means you can use it even in a well-lit room. The Samsung Odyssey Ark includes excellent speakers and can connect to a soundbar with eARC or Bluetooth speakers. Rounding out the behemoth is Eclipse Lighting which syncs LED lights to what is happening on your screen.

TL;DR

Pros:

  • Beautiful large display for gaming
  • Swivels between portrait and landscape easily
  • It supports all the right gaming features
  • Also an excellent productivity monitor
  • Samsung Smart Hub for app access

Cons:

  • Only one HDMI Source at a time in Multi-View
  • Could use more app options in Multi View

Buy at Samsung, Amazon and Best Buy.

Using the Samsung Odyssey Ark

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
Gaming on the Samsung Odyssey Ark is an epic experience.
Josh Smith

The Samsung Odyssey Ark is an epic gaming monitor that wraps around you or towers over you. I tested this display with the Xbox Series X for gaming. You’ll want a powerful PC or a high-end console to leverage the features.

The 1000R curve of the display wraps to the edges of my peripheral vision, bringing me deeper into games like PUBG, Call of Duty and Forza Horizon 5. The monitor is capable of delivering incredibly responsive gaming. The 4K display can deliver up to 165Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms lag looks great across all of these games and delivered a beautiful canvas for Forza Horizon 5 that seemed super smooth. The gaming monitor supports HDR10+ as well as Quantum Mini-LED technology for better HDR performance and deeper blacks. The display also uses an AI-powered Neural Quantum Processor Ultra to analyze and adjust the on-screen content.

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
Portrait mode includes moving the main input around and adding other items.
Josh Smith

Swiveling the screen is very easy for me. The stand is incredibly sturdy, making it simple to raise the monitor’s height and swivel the screen into portrait mode. The curved display towers over me. The orientation automatically switches, placing the primary HDMI input near my eye level. From there, I can use the Multi View feature to add other items to the display.

The anti-glare display is one of the best I’ve used, and it doesn’t pick up glare from items in the room or the window next to my desk. This helps reduce eye strain while using this as a monitor for work.

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
Even with a bright window open and lights on in the room, the monitor is great at rejecting glare.
Josh Smith

With the display in both modes, the integrated LED lighting splashes on the wall to make the already immersive experience feel even more encompassing. The ambient lighting is also amazing when watching an action-packed movie in a dark room.

The sound is great, especially for built-in speakers. The Ark includes a speaker in each corner and two woofers. Samsung calls this the Sound Dome, capable of delivering surround sound that pulls you into the game. You can hook up a sound bar or Bluetooth speaker, but you should be good to go between the built-in speakers and headphones for first-person shooters.

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
Integrated lighting syncs with games and movies, splashing on the wall for more immersion.
Josh Smith

While this is a 55-inch 4K monitor, you don’t always want to use the whole screen. That’s where more magic happens. Three features allow you to use the screen for a variety of gaming and productivity uses.

Multi View mode allows you to place your game on one side of the display and a YouTube video guide on the other, as one example. The Multi View feature includes the YouTube app, Samsung TV Plus, a camera option and screen mirroring from a PC, phone or Mac. You can also display some widgets.

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
The on-screen Multi View setup options let you customize from pre-selected apps and options.
Josh Smith

The major catch is that you cannot use all of the entertainment apps from the Samsung Smart Hub, and you cannot use more than one HDMI input at a time. This is the biggest hang-up, as I would like to be able to place an app like Netflix in one spot, the Xbox Series X in another and a computer in the third. Hopefully, this is something that can be added later.

With Flex Move Screen, you can adjust the size of the used display. For example, you may need a smaller screen for a first-person shooter while sitting close to the monitor. I also use this feature when working with the Ark as my primary monitor. Using the reduced window size prevents fatigue while looking corner to corner on such a large display, comparing spreadsheets and webpages for 8 hours.

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
Flex Move Screen mode lets you adjust the usable screen size, and then ambient mode fills the rest with matching colors.
Josh Smith

Another option when using a gaming PC is to use a 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratio, which is like an ultrawide display. This allows you to see a wide field of view in the game. With this setup, you can also use Minimap Zoom to enlarge the area of the screen where the minimap is and place this in the upper section of the display.

When using only a section of the screen, you can enable an Active Ambient mode that shows Spark Particles, a Hazy Window or a Polygon Planet effect. This is nice to look at, and the colors match what is happening in the main section of the display. You can also turn this off, but it is a feature we really enjoy.

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
Access the Game Bar to change and check settings quickly.
Josh Smith

The Samsung Odyssey Ark is a heavy display. You will need two people to set it up on a desk. The stand is hefty, keeps the monitor stable, and everything feels well built. The stand and swiveling mechanism are sturdy. This isn’t a cheap display.

All your inputs and power go to a small control box connecting to the display with one cord. The cord is routed through the stand, and the included cable management means you don’t need to worry about re-configuring anything when you switch between portrait and landscape orientation. The control box features four HDMI 2.1 inputs, ethernet and optical audio, as well as USB ports.

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
The Ark Dial is a fun and easy way to control the display, and we love spinning the dial for selections.
Josh Smith

You can control the monitor with the included remote control or the Ark Dial. Samsung’s Ark Dial sits on your desk and offers fast access to the screen options mentioned above, like Flex Move Screen, Multi View and other gaming options. It looks cool, and the dial is a great way to control these features. It charges with a solar panel, so you don’t need to worry about recharging it.

The Odyssey Ark includes the Samsung Smart Hub, which offers access to a wide range of entertainment apps like you would find on a Samsung TV. It also supports Airplay and various screen mirroring features for Android and Windows PCs.

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
The Game Hub includes access to built-in game streaming apps and your connected consoles.
Josh Smith

The Gaming Hub is packed with game streaming services for cloud gaming and automatically added the Xbox Series X to the hub. There is Xbox Game Pass, Stadia, Prime Gaming, GeForce Now and other services built in.

The display software also includes an Ambient Mode that lets you turn the whole display into a moving piece of art. The dedicated Workspace even allows you to remote into a computer to work.

Should You Buy the Samsung Odyssey Ark?

Samsung Odyssey Ark Review
The Samsung Odyssey Ark is the ultimate game room upgrade.
Josh Smith

The Samsung Odyssey Ark is an expensive investment at $3,499.99 and not something every gamer can bring to their setup. It does deliver a lot of value in a very attractive package. It can replace the need for two screens in a multi-monitor setup, and it also fills the needs of multiple types of displays. This is very easy to use as a monitor for work, switch into gaming and as a full-on TV replacement since it is 55-inches.

Even with the limitations around Multi View apps and only being able to use one HDMI input at a time, the Odyssey Ark is an impressive display that can fill the needs of multiple individual devices.

Buy at Samsung, Amazon and Best Buy for $3499.99.

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