Oh God it’s so big

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-inch gaming monitor is one such device. 55″ is just that much gaming monitor assuming you’re super close to your PC like a normal person. Who even needs their monitor to run?

But it turns out there’s a perfect audience for these kinds of devices, and I’m that audience, should I ever get extremely rich. That’s how it went playing with a monitor that was completely too large.

What is it?

Samsung Odyssey Ark 55-inch Gaming Monitor
Image: Alice Clarke

The Samsung Odyssey Ark 55-inch gaming monitor is just a massive gory monitor. It doesn’t have to be that big. It doesn’t have to rotate (!!!) and yet, here it is, huge and rotating. Now you would think it would come in other sizes too. It doesn’t. It’s 55″. Not like one of those screens that say it’s 55″ but it’s like a half screen because it’s just really wide with a 32:9 aspect ratio. bent the screen, put it on your desk, and then expected you to sit very close to it in all the ways your mother warned you not to.

Here are some of the key specs:

  • Display curvature of 1000R (presumably equivalent to that of the human eye)
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • HDR10+ Gaming
  • Response time of 1 ms
  • 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 that is definitely not a TV)
  • RGB lighting on the back (because it’s a gaming monitor)

If you thought those specs were overkill 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 the sense that it is really extremely large. Overwhelmingly large. But no, there are games that this is just made for (which I’ll get into below), and there’s no denying that it’s going to be unmatched for multitasking. Who needs a dual screen setup when you can just sit really close to a screen that was considered “a little big” for the living room just over a decade ago?

Also not because you can rotate it, so it’s just three 27-inch monitors standing on each other’s shoulders in a trench coat. I could play with that Far Cry 6 while watching a YouTube video and a music video channel on Samsung TV Plus, which was a wonderfully new experience.

Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor 1
Image: Alice Clarke

What is the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor good for?

This is an incredible screen for racing and flying sims. To play 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 where people spend thousands of dollars on multiple screens to achieve it, and never get it right. Now you can spend thousands of dollars on just one screen and it’s much more immersive. The curved screen immersed me perfectly in the game and I never wanted to leave.

If you combined this with a decent racing wheel and one of those cute racing sleds, you’d be in for a good time forever. You would never go out again, and why would you?

I really wish the computer I used to review the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55-inch gaming monitor had Flight Simulator because I can imagine that would be spectacular too. It’s just such a big screen that it requires games with great views and delicious escapism.

That 165Hz refresh rate made everything I played (aside from the Game Cloud stuff, of course) 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 show so much at once and get really close to the details. It would be so easy to find things and do things. So much real estate. Love that.

Another thing I really liked was the sound quality. If you spend this kind of money on a monitor, you can probably afford significantly nicer freestanding speakers. But if you prefer a tidy desk, you won’t be disappointed with the sound quality if you don’t use headphones. The 2.2.2 setup had more bass than I’d expect from such a thin screen, and I was impressed overall.

What is it not good for?

Samsung Odyssey Ark 55-inch Gaming Monitor
Image: Alice Clarke

Unless you have the strongest stomach, this is possibly the worst monitor I’ve ever seen for first-person shooters. It’s so big and immersive that after about 5 minutes I felt motion sickness with Far Cry 6. It’s just too big for this kind of game. There was no way to center yourself in the room and have something to visually cling to without going super far from the monitor, like with a giant TV.

This is where the screen rotation comes in, so you can take that 55″ screen and turn it into 3 27″ screens, plus you can also use the Ark Dial to resize the active window, and that should the sense of movement fight disease. But that’s only nice if you benefit from having three screens stacked on top of each other, or if you rarely play FPS games. It would work for me as I’m more into racing, sims and sports these days, but FPS fans should definitely try their favorite games on the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55 inch gaming monitor in the store before committing to a $$ screen 4,499 that might not work for their needs.

Do I need the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” Gaming Monitor?

Samsung Odyssey Ark 55-inch Gaming Monitor
Image: Alice Clarke

No. Nobody needs the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55-inch gaming monitor. This is the definition of excess. But you do want one, don’t you?

For people who are creative/multitask during the day and game a lot at night, this is a great choice. It’s also great if you live in a studio apartment and want a screen that doubles as a PC and TV, and it’s fine not to have a standard free-to-air tuner.

However, there is a very narrow target audience for such a screen. Just because you love your games and money isn’t an issue for you, doesn’t mean this monitor is the one you’ve been waiting for. FPS players would probably be better off with last year’s 49-inch Odyssey Neo G95A QLED DQHD gaming monitor, which is equally ridiculous but is a more usable shape for that genre.

You must also be someone with a very study desk as I’m not sure my Ikea desk can handle such a heavy screen.

All in all, I really liked the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55-inch gaming monitor, and if I lived a different life, I’d probably buy one for racing games. But for most people, it won’t be the best choice.

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