Samsung’s is known for its innovative monitor designs, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the company decided to create a 55-inch curved 4K gaming monitor that you can rotate into a vertical orientation, which it teased at CES 2022. Its Odyssey Ark isn’t expected to ship until the second half of this year, giving Samsung plenty of time to deliver some important details. Or really any details. It doesn’t seem to be a concept model, but it has that we-let-our-designers-loose look that’s typical of concepts.
Thus far we know nothing useful about the display, such as panel technology or connections, and certainly not the price. Until we do, I’m going to cross my fingers that it’s QD-OLED and less than $1,000. It can’t possibly be both and unlikely to be the latter, but let a girl have her dreams.
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The first question that comes to mind is “why would you want a rotating version of a 55-inch monitor?” In portrait orientation that would make it approach 4 feet tall (it’s hard to estimate without knowing how curved it is), which Samsung calls a cockpit-style view. I can’t imagine it’s comfortable to look at while sitting at a desk — I’d be terrified of it falling over on me, too. And if you move back to play using a controller, the curve will interfere with your view unless you tilt back in your chair, which diminishes your precision. Plus it would be too narrow; you’d probably want to place two of them side by side (which would likely make them impossible to rotate back).
It does seem like it might be a good fit for an all-in-one gaming chair where you sit tilted back and look up, and you’re also more likely to play driving or flight simulations that would benefit from a cockpit-type view.
But the Ark is too elegant to stick into any of those. And it does look simply stunning, at least in photos, with clean, classic lines and subtle edge illumination that bears no resemblance to the company’s rather clunky-looking line of Odyssey gaming monitors. It has a similarly stylish wireless dial to manage lighting and the interface.
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Unlike other 55-inch monitors we’ve seen, the stand supports tilting and pivoting which is nice. Samsung also says, “Multiview options allow users to adjust Odyssey Ark exactly how they want it with a totally adaptable screen size to fit the game or the program without compromising its 4K display and bright, colorful images.” It’s not clear what that actually means, though.
The company announced some other monitors this week as well, notably a smaller follow-up to its pricey 49-inch Odyssey G9 Neo QLED launched in July last year. The G9’s new 32-inch little brother the Odyssey Neo G8 (G85NB) should have a more approachable price than the $2,500 G9.
Like it did with the G9 Neo QLED, Samsung offered just a teaser for the G8, with no price or ship date. Like its slightly older sibling, it has a curved screen with a peak brightness of 2,000 nits in HDR and high contrast, a 240Hz refresh rate and 1-millisecond gray-to-gray response time, the same design as the Odyssey G7 and G9 (in white) and support for FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync.