The Samsung Odyssey Ark wants no introduction. The place gaming screens are involved, that is Samsung’s most bonkers undertaking to this point, much more so than the 49in ultrawide behemoth that’s the Odyssey G9 collection. It’s TV-sized but it surely curves dramatically, and the monolithic stand helps rotation from horizontal to vertical orientation. Sitting in entrance of it in my lounge, I felt a bit of intimidated; I can solely think about what it have to be like on a desk, which is the place Samsung’s promotional supplies would have you ever place it.

This was merely inconceivable for me – my desk sits in a room within the eaves of an previous Edwardian home, for one factor and, for one more, shifting and assembling the Odyssey Ark is well a three-person job. With an assistant, it took ten minutes to lug the Ark inch-by-inch up the one flight of stairs to my flat, and the trouble of positioning it atop my kitchen counter to take pictures of it rattling close to killed me.

The trade-off for this Olympian exercise? A 55in, 16:9 “Private Gaming Theatre” that makes use of a Quantum mini-LED panel with 1,056 native dimming zones that ought to – in concept – ship mind-blowing HDR efficiency. Working Samsung’s Tizen OS with the identical UI discovered on the Samsung M8 Sensible Monitor, the Odyssey Ark can also be a sensible TV that may entry the online, stream movies and TV by way of most main streaming providers and video games by way of Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna and Xbox Cloud Gaming.

The phrase “final” is usually overused in these types of situations however, if ever it warranted use, it will be to explain the Samsung Odyssey Ark. The factor is, I’m simply undecided anybody of their proper thoughts can buy it.

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Samsung Odyssey Ark overview: What do you get for the cash?

The Samsung Odyssey Ark prices a unprecedented £2,599. That sum of money will get you a second-hand hatchback or, within the case of the Ark, a 55in VA panel with a decision of three,840 x 2,160, a refresh fee of 165Hz, a quoted response time of 1ms G2G and a 1000R curvature. This monitor doesn’t have an official VESA DisplayHDR certification – as an alternative, it bears Samsung’s personal QuantumHDR 2000 badge – but it surely does assist HDR 10, HDR 10+ and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). It additionally helps AMD Freesync Premium Professional and VRR on PS5/Xbox Collection X and can work with Nvidia G-Sync, albeit unofficially.

In contrast to most shows, the Odyssey Ark solely has just a few ports constructed into its rear panel: a 3.5mm jack, a single USB-A port and a port for Samsung’s proprietary One Join cable. This cable plugs into the provided One Join field, a hub internet hosting 4 HDMI 2.1, two USB 2.0, one USB-B 2.0, one Ethernet, one EX Hyperlink, one Optical and an influence provide port.

Mounted on its heavy-duty stand, the Odyssey Ark can rise/sink 270mm, pivot 90 levels left or proper (into portrait orientation) and tilt backwards and forwards by ten levels. Rotating the monitor robotically engages a mode Samsung is looking “Multi View”, which splits the large panel into as much as 4 sections and permits you to show content material from completely different sources in every one.

Primarily it’s a type of picture-by-picture, though with an entire tranche of configurations accessible it’s, in concept, extra versatile, permitting you to proceed your recreation and entry different content material from as much as three sources on the identical time. Multi View can be manually activated in panorama orientation and there are additionally modes which can be designed to indicate content material out of your smartphone (both Samsung by way of the Sensible View app or Apple, by way of AirPlay) in addition to conventional landscape-type sources.

Within the field, you’ll discover a bundle with One Join, HDMI and energy cables, plus the One Join field itself and the Ark Dial, Samsung’s outsized distant management. The Ark Dial can be utilized to regulate the dimensions and configuration of the Multi View frames at any time.

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Samsung Odyssey Ark overview: What does it do nicely?

The Odyssey Ark is undeniably big however I used to be pleasantly stunned by how neat it’s. Channelling the assorted inputs by way of the One Join field leaves the rear of the monitor wanting near-pristine, with a single cable operating neatly alongside a groove and thru the cable administration gap within the stand. This implies you may safely tuck the ugly cable nest under your desk. 

It seems to be the half, too, as you’d hope for £2,600. The Ark undoubtedly resembles a Samsung TV greater than it does a Samsung monitor however that’s nice: it’s slim (comparatively talking), easy and clear. Nonetheless, the matte black paint job, RGB lighting and trademark Samsung jet engine imitation on the rear remind you that it is a gaming monitor in the beginning.

I’ve one concern with the construct, which I’ll come onto later however, largely, the Ark is as well-made and durable as you’d count on for the cash. There’s actually no flimsy, flexing plastic right here. The all-metal stand feels robust sufficient to assist the load of a small automobile, not to mention a 55in monitor. Despite this, the panel itself glides easily on the peak adjustment rails and is surprisingly straightforward to pivot into portrait mode.

It’s additionally surprisingly easy to assemble and I managed this bit by myself. The styrofoam packaging acts as a assist when you connect the stand and tighten the six screws. You may then slowly elevate the monitor into an upright place, resting it on its stand the entire approach up. Supplied you’re assembling the monitor on a sufficiently big floor (the ground in my case), it’s comparatively hassle-free, because the stand and styrofoam do many of the exhausting give you the results you want.

Let’s transfer on to efficiency. The Odyssey Ark delivers in spades the place it issues most: it has distinctive peak brightness, nice distinction and spectacular color gamut protection. Out of the field in Normal mode with HDR disabled, the Odyssey Ark produced 125.8% of sRGB (86.8% DCI-P3  and 89.2% Adobe RGB). That determine rises to 128.1% within the Ark’s Graphic mode however sinks to 96.8% (68.6% DCI-P3) in Film mode.

I used to be unable to discover a notably colour-accurate preset, which can be as a result of this monitor is constructed for HDR, however a median Delta E of three.31 when measured towards sRGB in Normal mode actually isn’t disastrous. It merely signifies that colors err on the facet of vibrancy.

In any occasion, the backlight is the star of the present right here. I measured a peak luminance of 707cd/m² on a ten% white window in SDR; in HDR with native dimming at max, that determine jumped to 1,384cd/m². Black factors sat at 2.33cd/m² in SDR and 0.04cd/m² in HDR with native dimming at max. Which means you’re taking a look at a distinction ratio of 34,588:1 with HDR and native dimming engaged, which is a sensational determine overwhelmed solely by the infinite distinction of OLED.

To my thoughts, there’s merely no level switching out of HDR mode. The Ark clearly isn’t constructed for anything and that’s completely nice; HDR-ready video games, movies and TV look devastatingly good on this factor. I’ve taken to utilizing Management and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands on PS5 to check HDR subjectively and I used to be more than happy with the pitch black shadows and glistening colors the Odyssey Ark was in a position to produce.

The Odyssey Ark undoubtedly fits some genres greater than others, although. For instance, the first-person POV of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands felt wasted on this display screen, as you’d have to take a seat fairly far-off to keep away from having to swivel your neck continually to look at for enemies. Significantly better to immerse your self within the beautiful vistas of The Witcher 3’s Continent or the cockpit of a supercar in your driving sim of alternative.

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Samsung Odyssey Ark overview: What could possibly be higher?

You’d assume it will be exhausting to choose holes in a monitor this costly however that’s not the case. I’ve loads of gripes. The Ark’s VA panel, whereas curved, nonetheless suffers from many of the points that plague VA panels – that’s, unhealthy viewing angles and a noticeable quantity of ghosting. The aggressive 1000R curvature mitigates the previous nicely sufficient if you’re sitting straight in entrance of it however transfer round even a bit of bit and also you’ll discover the drop off in visible readability. Ghosting, in the meantime, can fortunately be offset by the monitor’s overdrive settings – of which there are three – though not fully.

It additionally bothers me that this monitor returned a less-than-stellar brightness uniformity report, with explicit variation alongside the underside edge and within the top-left nook. This may fluctuate from unit to unit however I shouldn’t have to fret about one thing so trivial if I’m spending £2,600. 

Once more, I can not stress sufficient how heavy this monitor is. The stand alone weighs 20kg, which when hooked up to the panel brings the entire weight to 41.5kg – for comparability, the 55in Samsung QN90B 4K TV weighs 21.9kg. How on earth anybody is meant to get this factor onto a desk with out the assistance of a few individuals is past me – notably given you could assemble the monitor whereas it’s nonetheless in its styrofoam packaging. I’d advocate paying the additional £20 for skilled set up for those who don’t have a accomplice or buddy to assist.

And whereas construct high quality is basically excellent, I had constant points with the pivot mechanism. The monitor must be lifted to its furthest level earlier than you may spin it round into portrait orientation. In observe, nonetheless, I sometimes discovered that the mechanism caught, stopping motion even after I had lifted the panel up all the best way. 

I’m not overly keen on the Ark Dial, both. It’s a comically giant distant management, and it isn’t notably intuitive. It’s exhausting to work out which buttons do what in tandem with Samsung’s difficult Tizen consumer interface and, in the end, the Ark Dial ended up again within the field. Happily, Samsung does provide a standard distant, which I obtained on with significantly better.

After all, the Ark Dial is a small, unimportant gimmick. What’s extra damning is that two of this monitor’s major sights – that’s, the portrait orientation and related Multi View mode – don’t work fairly the best way you’d like them to. You may’t at present use a couple of HDMI port concurrently, and streaming from a PC or laptop computer to the Ark is about as nice because it was after I examined it on the Samsung M8 (briefly, it’s horrible). Not one of the streaming providers (movie/TV or gaming) are appropriate with Multi View, both, which implies the opposite slots within the Multi View frames are left to be occupied by the worst Tizen has to supply – the likes of Samsung TV Plus or The Climate Channel.

As well as, portrait mode reduces video high quality to a 1080p max per merchandise, leaving content material wanting noticeably much less sharp than it ought to. It additionally limits the refresh fee to 120Hz from 165Hz and switches off adaptive sync, whereas adjusting the video settings so all content material seems to be roughly comparable.

In short, I’m afraid it’s nearly inconceivable to have a PS5 recreation operating alongside a YouTube video/Twitch stream and a Discord chat – and whereas that may sound like overkill, it’s one thing {that a} conventional multi-monitor setup is ready to deal with effortlessly, and for a lot, far much less money. 

My ultimate level inevitably issues the worth tag. Spending this a lot must bag you the best possible show tech round, and whereas the mini-LED backlight actually works wonders, I can’t assist however really feel that an OLED would outclass this one in nearly each respect bar outright brightness.

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Samsung Odyssey Ark overview: Do you have to purchase it?

As astonishing as this monitor is to behold, then, I’m discovering it exhausting to work out why I’d advocate it over a pleasant 4K OLED TV, or a dual-monitor setup for PC players. The previous affords you excellent distinction and unrivalled responsiveness, with out costing the earth; the latter delivers simple multitasking and retina-friendly working… with out costing the earth.

Don’t get me flawed, it is a outstanding monitor. In order for you a press release piece to make your pals go wide-eyed with awe, the Odyssey Ark is ideal. I simply don’t see how a sane individual would ever need one.

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