Every now and then you come across a product that sounds so cool, yet so specific, that you have no idea how it would work in real life. Friends, the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor is one such device. 55” is just so much gaming monitor, assuming you sit super close to your PC like a normal person. Who even needs their monitor to rotate?
But, it turns out there is a perfect audience for this kind of device, and I am that audience, should I ever become extremely rich. Here’s how things went playing with a monitor that is entirely too big.
What is it?
The Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor is just a massive bloody monitor. It does not need to be this big. It does not need to rotate (!!!) and yet, here it is, being huge and rotating. Now, you might think that it would also come in other sizes. It doesn’t. It’s 55”. Not like one of those screens that say it’s 55″, but is like half a screen because it’s just really wide with a 32:9 aspect ratio. This is like someone bent a full 55” TV screen, put it on your desk, and then expected you to sit really close to it in all the ways your mother warned you not to. Amazing.
Here are some of the key specs:
- Screen curvature of 1000R (supposedly to match that of the human eye)
- 16:9 aspect ratio
- HDR10+ Gaming
- 1ms response time
- Mini LED
- 165Hz refresh rate
- Has Alexa and Bixby built in
- 4x 2.1 HDMI ports
- Dolby Atmos
- 4K resolution
- AMD FreeSync Premium
- Ark Dial (to control the monitor which is definitely not a TV)
- RGB lighting on the back (because it’s a gaming monitor)
If you thought those specs were excessive for a gaming monitor, wait until you see the price: $4,499.
Is the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor really that big?
Yes and no. Yes in that it really is extremely large. Overwhelmingly large. But, no in that there are some games this is just made for (which I’ll get to below), and you can’t deny that it’ll be second to none for multi-tasking. Who needs a dual-screen set up when you can just sit really close to a screen that used to be considered “a bit big” for the living room only a little more than a decade ago?
Also, no in that you can rotate it so it’s just three 27” monitors standing on each other’s shoulders in a trench coat. With that, I was able to play Far Cry 6 while watching a YouTube video and a music video channel on Samsung TV Plus, which was a delightfully novel experience.
What is the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor good for?
This is an incredible screen for racing and flying sims. Playing Forza Horizon 5 on this, even just on Xbox Cloud Gaming (which is built into the monitor), was spectacular. It was like being in the car. This is the kind of experience that people spend thousands of dollars on multiple screens to achieve, never quite nailing it. Now you can spend thousands of dollars on just one screen and have it be way more immersive. The curved screen perfectly immersed me in the game and I never wanted to leave.
Like, if you paired this with a decent racing wheel and one of those adorable racing sleds, you would be in for a good time forever. You would never go outside again, and why would you?
I really wished the computer I was using to review the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor had Flight Simulator on it, because I can imagine that would be spectacular, too. It’s just such a big screen that it demands games with big views and delightful escapism.
That 165Hz refresh rate made everything I played (aside from the Game Cloud stuff, obviously) just so beautifully smooth. Truly, one of the most incredible gaming monitors I’ve used, in every sense of the word.
On a non-gaming note, this monitor would also be spectacular for creatives. It would be great for video editing or graphics work. It allows you to have so much on display at once and get really up close to the details. It would be so easy to find things and do stuff. So much real estate. Love that.
Another thing I really liked was the sound quality. If you’re spending this kind of money on a monitor, you can probably afford significantly nicer free-standing speakers. But if you’d prefer a cleaner desk, then you won’t be disappointed by the audio fidelity when you’re not using headphones. The 2.2.2 setup had more bass than I would expect from a screen this thin, and I was overall impressed with it.
What is it not good for?
Unless you have the hardiest stomach, this is possibly the worst monitor I have ever seen for first-person shooters. It’s so big and immersive that I felt motion sick after about 5 minutes with Far Cry 6. It’s just too big for these kinds of games. There was no way to centre yourself in the room and have something to visually cling onto without moving super far from the monitor like you would a giant TV.
This is where rotating the screen comes in, so you can take that 55” screen and make it 3 27” screens, plus you can also use the Ark Dial to adjust the size of the active window, and that should combat the feelings of motion sickness. But that’s only great if you would benefit from having three screens stacked on top of each other, or if you only rarely played FPS games. It would work for me, because I’m more about racing, sims and sports these days, but FPS fans should definitely try testing out their favourite games on the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor in store before committing to a $4,499 screen that might not work for their needs.
Do I need the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor?
No. No one needs the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor. This is the very definition of excess. But you kinda want one, don’t you?
For folks who are creative/multitasking by day and heavily gaming by night, then this is a great choice. It’s also fantastic if you live in a studio apartment and want one screen that doubles as your PC and TV, and are ok with it not having a standard free-to-air tuner.
However, there is a very narrow target audience for a screen this specific. Just because you love your games and money is no object for you doesn’t mean this monitor is the one you’ve been waiting for. FPS players would probably be better off with the 49” Odyssey Neo G95A QLED DQHD Gaming Monitor from last year, which is similarly ridiculous but is a more useful shape for that genre.
You also need to be someone with a very study desk, because I’m not sure my Ikea desk would be able to handle a screen this heavy.
All up, I liked the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor a lot, and if I lived a different life, I would probably buy one just for racing games. But it’s not going to be the best choice for most people.
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