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Samsung's $3,499 Odyssey Ark gaming monitor is a sight to behold

The Odyssey Ark, which was originally teased at CES, takes the 1000R curved monitor form factor and blows it up to a size that makes you feel like you're sitting inside the game. It's available now to pre-order.
michael-gariffo
Written by Michael Gariffo, Staff Writer on
Odyssey Ark monitor in landscape mode

If your mom told you not to sit too close to the TV when you were a kid, don't let her see this picture.

Samsung

When Samsung showed off its forthcoming monitor lineup at this past Consumer Electronics Show, one model loomed large (literally) over just about everything else announced. The 55-inch Odyssey Ark promised to replace multi-monitor setups with a single, ultra-flexible display that could do everything from producing multiple virtual monitors for productivity tasks to serving as a single, massively immersive display for gaming of any kind. 

Now that Samsung has finally taken the wraps off this juggernaut of a monitor, we can see that its specs have the muscle to back up all of the varied use cases Samsung expects it to excel at:

Display size 

55-inch

Curvature 

1000R

Aspect ratio 

16:9

Backlighting 

Quantum Mini LED with local dimming

HDR support 

Yes (HDR 2000)

Contrast ratio 

1,000,000:1

Resolution 

3,840 x 2160

Response time 

1mz (GTG)

Refresh rate

165Hz

Adaptive sync support

FreeSync Premium Pro

Samsung Odyssey Ark in Portrait mode

The mind-bending "Cockpit Mode" in action.

Samsung

While all of the above stats place this among the best gaming monitors on the market from a mathematical perspective, Samsung hopes that the display's unique size and curvature will make it a unique entry in the space. 

The Odyssey Ark's ability to fill the viewer's entire field of vision is further enhanced by what Samsung is calling Cockpit Mode, a feature of the unit's height-adjustable stand that allows it to be rotated horizontally or vertically to best suit that in-the-game immersion we keep referencing. 

The built-in Sound Dome Technology attempts to put the cherry on top of that immersion by using the monitor's array of four mid-range speakers (one located at each corner) to create the sensation of sound coming from all around the user. This is helped along by support for AI Sound Booster and Dolby Atmos technologies, as well as two central woofers for bass notes as low as 45Hz. 

Odyssey Ark with man watching in Portrait Mode

We can only imagine what he's seeing...

Samsung

Of course, none of this technology will matter if you're dealing with stuttering gameplay or pixelated visuals. To this end, Samsung tapped AMD for its FreeSync Premium Pro technology, which smooths out the frames as they're loaded onto the 4K display by dynamically compensating for fluctuations in the attached PC's graphical output (where supported). Samsung notes that the 165Hz refresh rate will also help provide smooth visuals for competitive shooters and other fast-paced titles. 

Access to those titles might not even require a PC if you're using the Odyssey Ark. The monitor's built-in Samsung Gaming Hub is designed to be a one-stop platform through which players can access a slew of game streaming options, including Xbox, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Google Stadia, Utomik, and Amazon Luna.

Samsung Odyssey Ark on a desk with a gamer using a virtual display on it

An example of the Flex Move Screen feature covered below.

Samsung

When you run out of game time and need to get back to work, Samsung hopes you'll use the included Ark Dial controller to unlock the monitor's various customization options. Among those are: 

  • Flex Move Screen - A mode that allows users to create virtual displays between 27 and 55 inches, with the ability to change their aspect ratio (16:9, 21:9, and 32:9 are all supported). 
  • Multi-View - The Odyssey Ark can support up to four of the aforementioned virtual displays at once while in landscape (horizontal) mode or three while in portrait (vertical) mode. 
  • Game Bar - An on-screen status bar designed to provide at-a-glance info on stats gamers care about most, like the current state of the display's FPS (Frames Per Second), HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode, and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) status. Users can also use Game Bar to adjust the display's Quick Settings, which can instantly tailor its settings to the task at hand.

Samsung has opened pre-orders for the display now at its online shop. As you'd expect from a display this large and unique, you'll need to open your wallets wide for the $3,500 sticker price. But, if you pre-order the display, Samsung will knock $100 off of that to help you afford this desk-dominating monster. 

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