The Ark is billed as the world’s first 165Hz 55-inch gaming monitor with a 1ms response time.

Samsung’s 55-inch Odyssey Ark: Taking gaming monitors to a whole new dimension | Engadget

2022 has been a great year for monitors. We already got the world’s first QD-OLED monitor from Alienware with another on the way from MSI. And earlier this summer, Sony joined the fray with its new gaming hardware brand Inzone. But now Samsung is taking things to a whole new level with Odyssey Ark.

Featuring a huge mini quantum LED panel with a 1000R curve, Ark offers an immersive experience with great visuals and surprisingly good sound. Not only does Samsung claim that Ark is the world’s first 55-inch monitor with 4K resolution, 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, but it also gets support for HDR 10+ and Dolby Atmos audio. . And while the sound in many monitors is often an afterthought (assuming they can even output anything), the Ark features a total of six speakers: one in each corner and two woofers in the rear. And when combined, Samsung says the Ark’s speakers were designed to create a dome of sound.

And now, after having the opportunity to check it out in person, I can say that this monitor is unlike any other on the market. Even compared to other ultrawide screens, the Ark’s dimensions allow it to wrap around you like some kind of high-tech cocoon. Colors are rich, and thanks to its matte finish, you don’t have to worry about reflections ruining your graphics. The monitor also supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro for VRR, so you can get the best performance regardless of whether you’re gaming on console or PC. And while you won’t see pure blacks like you would with an OLED display, Samsung says the Ark’s contrast is 4x better than its previous-gen monitors.

Meanwhile, to make it easier to control the Ark, Samsung includes not one but two remotes, both of which have built-in solar panels so you don’t have to worry about keeping them charged. The first remote is similar to what you’d get with a TV, but the one that feels a bit more special is the wireless Ark Dial. It allows you to quickly change video settings, adjust volume, and switch between special monitor display modes. It’s super easy to use, and best of all, it means you don’t have to reach into the back and fiddle with hidden buttons or a joystick like you do with many competing monitors.

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The great thing about Ark is all the modes and features that Samsung includes to help you get the most out of this giant panel. First, there’s the Flex Move Screen, which lets you adjust the size of your content and move it around, you know, in case you don’t need the full 55 inches of the Ark. There’s also Samsung’s Gaming Hub, which supports game streaming platforms like NVIDIA GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Google Stadia natively. It even has RGB lighting on the back, not that you can really see it with that much screen between you and the back of the screen.

But what I like the most is the Multi View mode, which allows you to have up to three different apps open at once, including the ability to move and resize windows however you like. That means you can play while having a movie and social media on the sidelines, or you can double down by having two games open plus YouTube, or basically anything in between. And if there’s a layout you particularly like, you can save that arrangement so that next time you can open everything with a single tap. The only caveat is that due to an HDMI limitation, you can only display content from Ark’s built-in apps and one external device at the same time. So while you can have a console and PC connected at the same time thanks to support for four HDMI ports (all of which are HDMI 2.1), you can’t output content from both simultaneously.

Gallery: hands-on photos of the Samsung Odyssey Ark | 12 photos

Finally, there’s Ark’s special move, which is capable of rotating in portrait orientation, or as Samsung calls it, Cockpit mode. You still get support for all the monitor features like Multi View and Flex Move, but now on a screen that curves up and over your head. And you know what, it really does feel like you’re sitting in the pilot’s seat on an airplane. My only regret is that I wish I had installed a shooting game like Ikaruga, so I was able to really take advantage of the verticality of the Ark in Cockpit mode. And if you want a huge new screen but don’t have much desk space, Samsung even includes a VESA wall mount in the box.

That said, starting at $3,500, the Odyssey Ark is a huge financial commitment for anyone. But if none of the other monitors released this year are big enough for you, Samsung’s new flagship gaming monitor could be the massive centerpiece your home battle station needs.

Pre-orders for Odyssey Ark begin today, and when combined with pre-order discounts, potential customers can save up to $300 before sales officially begin in early September.

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