October 2, 2022

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Samsung Odyssey Ark Hands-on: A set of gaming monitors

Samsung Odyssey Ark Hands-on: A set of gaming monitors

Samsung’s Odyssey Ark had a A hidden presence at CES 2022, but the 55-inch curved gaming monitor that meets the TV is almost ready to launch. It will be released in mid-September for $3499.99, with Reservations for pre-orders Starting from today. I got to test a prototype of Odyssey Ark with a bunch of PC games. Surprise: Playing with my face three feet away from a 55-inch 4K monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate is awesome. But I was equally impressed with the benefits of features that Ark can offer.

Ark represents Samsung’s most aggressive game in distinguishing itself as a gaming monitor maker. The 55-inch 1000R bend is, of course, one way to go. It can be rotated easily for use in portrait mode with up to three video sources. The other main way is to use some smart TV functions, Specifically, the Samsung Gaming Hub that allows cloud broadcasting Via Xbox Game Pass, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna. Like the Samsung M8 Smart Screen The one I checked, runs on Samsung’s Tizen OS – in case you want to use some streaming apps like YouTube or Apple TV Plus.

Given its high cost, there’s a good chance you’ll want to do more than just play a game on the Ark. This screen is large enough to easily accommodate multiple use cases simultaneously. Building on the standard PIP mode offered by many TVs and some monitors, the Ark includes powerful screen processing settings that let you go from basic (stack four windows, two by two) to more niche (setting one entry to be 32 :9, with a single traditional 16:9 entry above it). The possibilities, while not infinitely configurable, seem ready for some interesting use cases if you’re the kind of person who likes to tweak settings. And that’s before you turn the Ark sideways into cockpit mode.

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Doing so requires tilting the monitor up, raising it to the highest setting allowed by its large, simple, height-adjustable stand, and then rotating it 90 degrees counterclockwise. I was worried it was a two person job, but I was able to do it myself without too much trouble. The cool thing is that rotating the screen will also rotate the source image automatically. With a directed Ark like this, you can display up to three screens stacked vertically or extend one from top to bottom if your game supports it. In cockpit mode, it kind of looks like the Ark is a wave about to crash above you. Samsung’s Owen Sexton told me during the demo that the Ark is also wall-mountable and will include a VESA mount.

The Ark mount allows it to rotate 90 degrees in “cockpit mode”.

While Samsung’s promotion of the Ark strongly favors viewing it in cockpit mode, I preferred playing it in landscape mode with a single source taking up the entire screen. Using multi-display mode is nice, although in portrait or landscape mode the curvature of the screen can make every slice of the screen take on the effect of a slight skew, with some corners looking skewed. It might break your gaming immersion, but it should be fine for other tasks. If I’m using the Ark for work, I’d probably prefer using it in cockpit mode. Similar to the idea behind the 16:18 aspect ratio LG DualUp, it’s easier to quickly see multiple windows just by moving my head up and down rather than side to side as I should with multiple monitors or a superfast screen.

Samsung includes two remote controls with Ark, one of which is a typical remote control for handling basic functions and another more complex option called the Ark dial. It’s a standalone command center that places the main Ark functions (power, volume, input selection, and game bar) on large buttons. There is a rotatable dial and directional pad inside to adjust settings more quickly. There is even a solar panel to recharge it, so you never need to plug it in.

I should point out that none of the remote controls seem to make it neat to navigate the myriad screen menus and settings. There is a definite learning curve to finding the settings you’re looking for, and a large part of my demo was just trying – and sometimes failing – to go where I wanted it.

The Ark dial remote control means you never have to fiddle with the on-screen joystick itself to adjust settings.

The Ark, like other high-end gaming monitors from Samsung, blends the best of its TV panel technology with features deep-pocketed gamers are likely to enjoy, such as HDR, VRR, and four HDMI 2.1 ports (although, oddly enough, there’s no DisplayPort). ) . It has a compact LED backlight Samsung claims is capable of up to 1,500 nits of peak brightness, and the company claims it’s the first 55-inch 4K panel to support a 165Hz refresh rate.

This screen has a 1000R curve, and it’s weird and wonderful to see the curve back on a panel that looks a lot like a TV. The curve scoop isn’t as deep as the curvature of the Odyssey Neo G9 1800R (each, but I think the 1000R is the perfect spot in terms of being able to easily see everything on the screen without the peripheral details falling by the wayside).

In my short time with Ark, I play games like eternal torment And the Forza Horizon 5 They seemed to be very good representations of how bright and fast this screen is. No complaints there. The 16:9 aspect ratio means that the image does not show optical noise around the edges As seen in Samsung’s 32:9 aspect ratio, Odyssey G9 and Neo G9. However, I was not surprised by the inconsistency at Microsoft flight simulator As I wish I could be. With the Ark curve and QLED display, I expected to be more or less immersed in the immersion. The fact that I didn’t feel this way though, may be due to some factors, such as the room being too bright, the Ark’s visual mode not set properly for gaming, or maybe the tuning in this prototype unit isn’t quite over.

Ark provides an immersive gaming experience without the warping you sometimes see on Ultra HD screens.

Having said that, the Ark experience looks polished, but there were a few other quirks with this prototype. When a Samsung representative was leading me through the image resizing features, some of the educational popups wouldn’t go away. The team said this was a pre-release issue. Also, a piece of the top edge didn’t want to stay seated, glancing at the backlight. When I hit the tire, the light leak was gone, but it came back shortly after I fired it. Maybe it has something to do with glue or something else entirely. Hopefully this is not present in the charging units.

The ship looks like a recognizable quantity on its face, but there is just something about it that makes it unique. It packs the specs of a great gaming monitor into a design that, by all accounts except the stand, is an old-fashioned curved TV. Since it has some smart features, such as cloud game streaming and smart TV apps, the Ark could be a great fit for someone who wants to do their best – in terms of size and cost of $3499.99. I’m even more excited about the idea that it’s a sign that some of these features could come to cheaper Samsung gaming monitors in the near future.

Photography by Cameron Faulkner/The Verge