Finally, the Samsung Odyssey Ark is coming – Actually, you can Reserve a unit now When the screen goes on sale in early September. It amazed me when I saw the show at CESAnd it was also impressive to see it again. But then I tried to use it with Windows.
Ark is a 55″ rotating mini LED display that features multiple windows stacking either horizontally or vertically, and is one of the The most anticipated screens of 2022. The practicality of doing so with a Windows PC or Mac is in question, though, especially considering Samsung is asking for more money for the Ark than ever for a gaming monitor.
|3840 x 2160 (4K)
|1 millisecond GTG
|2.2.2 channels, 60W
|4x HDMI 2.1
|Height, tilt and swivel
Before we get into the issues Windows and macOS pose to Ark, it’s important to set the scene. Because honestly, Ark is a very unique product.
I call it Omni-Screen because that’s what you’re really trying to do. You can flip the 55-inch screen vertically, sure, but Samsung is targeting a similar purpose like Odyssey G9 Neo. Ark aims to replace multiple screens with a single screen, which is enabled by Samsung Multi-View, which allows you to place and resize windows around the screen.
The linchpin is a wireless Ark connection. It’s Ark’s command center, allowing you to resize windows by rotating the wheel or accessing Multi-View to bring up multiple apps simultaneously. You can even save three layouts in the screen for quick reference, and you can turn on some dynamic wallpapers to fill the dead space on the screen. And when you rotate the screen vertically, all your apps will automatically adjust to the orientation.
with Samsung’s latest TV operating systemYou have access to any streaming app you might want, a web browser, and even Samsung Gaming Hub, which includes apps like Stadia, GeForce Now, and Game Pass. Other than that, you have four HDMI 2.1 ports for connecting your sources, which is more than enough even if you have the latest consoles and a gaming PC.
It looks perfect, and when I tested the screen at CES, this was the impression I had. But the reality is somewhat different. Having a mix of apps and resources is nice, but Ark starts to look less practical if you mostly use a PC for multitasking.
The Ark isn’t a TV and it’s not a screen, and when I asked Samsung about this dynamic, the response was clear: “It’s a screen.” However, Ark works best when you keep the experience centralized around the Samsung TV operating system, using built-in apps and multiple sources rather than relying on a single source.
Ark can do a lot, including stacking three 27-inch monitors on top of each other and letting you resize the monitors from 16:9 aspect ratio to 21:9 or even 32:9. You can also resize your windows to 27-inch and move it freely around the 55 inch screen. this Just If you use Samsung apps, though.
Using the Ark as a screen is a big hurdle. If you’re only using a PC or Mac, you can’t use the Ark Dial or any of the in-screen layout features. Windows and macOS don’t support this kind of unique form factor, so setting everything up is the process of manually resizing windows and going into your settings whenever you want to flip the screen.
The main drawback is the use of applications such as a web browser.
There’s not much Samsung can do about how Windows or macOS work, but this issue certainly takes away the luster of a screen meant to replace many disparate monitors. Moreover, you cannot run multiple cables from the computer to treat them as different sources. You get one feed for your PC or Mac. This is it.
Samsung includes a remote control with the screen, so it’s very reasonable to have a streaming app like Netflix in one window and a game or web browser in another. The main drawback is the use of applications such as a web browser, which you need to control using an Ark disk or a remote control.
It is possible to control these apps with a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth, but then this requires you to have two connections on your peripherals synced to your PC and screen at the same time. It’s just a lot of manual tuning.
It is true that the Odyssey Ark solves a similar problem as the Odyssey G9 Neo, but it does so in a completely different way. With the G9’s 32:9 aspect ratio, you have plenty of landscape screen real estate to play with, and Windows and macOS can easily accommodate you. The vertical overturn on Tabuk is what destroys this system.
Although there are some practical issues, Odyssey Ark is still impressive. It’s crazy that Samsung even got this screen working in the first place, and the panel quality is there with Advanced gaming monitors available today. You get a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,000 nits peak brightness, so this is definitely the cream of the crop available right now.
And you should consider how much Samsung is charging Ark. You can reserve a unit now for $3,500, and it will be available in early September. That’s $1,200 more than the Odyssey G9 Neo and even the same price as some Samsung 8K QLED TVs. Ark is a unique product, and Samsung clearly knows that.
There’s definitely an argument for Ark, it might be your only screen, especially if you have multiple media devices and want to mix and match apps on the same screen. But in reality, it’s hard to afford the totally crazy price tag, especially when the Ark isn’t nearly as useful or practical as the 32:9 Odyssey G9 Neo.