February 6, 2023

Samsung did one thing somewhat loopy in 2020. It launched the primary 32:9 monitor that rapidly rose to the highest of the most effective gaming screens and prompted an replace a yr later with the Odyssey G9 Neo. It appears Samsung is attempting to do one thing comparable with the just lately launched Odyssey Ark, nevertheless it will not catch on just like the Odyssey G9 simply a few years in the past.

Each screens are distinctive; G9 has a silly facet ratio and Ark can transfer fully vertical. Nonetheless, they serve comparable functions, permitting you to have extra display actual property for multitasking whereas nonetheless offering an immersive multimedia expertise once you need it. It is simply that Ark comes too early, with no correct help on Home windows or macOS, a type issue that poses obstacles to usability, and an absence of help with regards to displaying a number of home windows on the display on the identical time.

Basis laying


There isn’t a doubt {that a} 32:9 facet ratio monitor was a wild thought. It is two 16:9 facet ratio shows aspect by aspect, so it is comprehensible why you need that facet ratio. However truly make one and it catches on? This can be a wild thought.

However there was a swell that made the ultra-wide display potential: a traditional ultra-wide display with a 21:9 facet ratio. Ultrawides have been in the marketplace for about eight years when the Odyssey G9 went on sale and virtually 10 years when the up to date Odyssey G9 Neo was launched. Instruments like Flawless Widescreen fastened the facet ratio in video games, Home windows advanced with higher desktop snapping instruments, and multi-monitor setups turned extra widespread (particularly when individuals began working from residence).

Extra importantly, there was a requirement for extra horizontal screens. Samsung acknowledged the issue with two screens aspect by aspect and simply made one large display. The Ark looks as if an identical reply. TVs just like the LG C2 OLED have develop into a extra widespread choice for high-end PC players as TV know-how has surpassed screens (particularly when it comes to HDR).

A racing video game played on an LG C2 OLED TV.
Dan Baker/Digital Developments

Samsung is solely recognizing this pattern earlier, which is detrimental to the Ark. Home windows and MacOS haven’t any options for stacking a number of home windows vertically, and Samsung’s Multi-View, for all of the performance it supplies, is just not a alternative for individuals who wish to use Ark as a monitor fairly than as an odd pseudo-TV.

There’s a pattern in the direction of vertical screens, as evidenced by shows such because the LG DualUp. However that is nonetheless a comparatively new class. The Ark might have acknowledged the pattern, however Samsung went all out with curved display gaming screens, because it did with the Odyssey G9, regardless of there being no basis to correctly help this display sort.

Within the periphery

Samsung Odyssey Ark vertically
Jacob Roach/Digital Developments

The ark appears to be like Certainly spectacular once you take a look at it. The sight of a large 55-inch display rotated vertically feels very sensible and helpful. However this expertise will not final. Leaning your neck again to see the display repeatedly looks as if a fast recipe for neck ache, and it’s essential to be a good distance away from the monitor to see all the pieces (Samsung says at the least two and a half toes).

That is true for the Odyssey G9 Neo as properly, however you may see much more of your display in your peripheral imaginative and prescient. Ark cabin mode works with some video games like Microsoft Flight Simulator, and it’d work for productiveness, however the tried and true 16:9 twin monitor setup is extra acquainted and comfy. Vertical positioning would not provide any benefit, at the least not on a large display just like the Ark.

double imaginative and prescient

Multiple windows on Samsung Ark Odyssey.
Jacob Roach/Digital Developments

The Odyssey G9 Neo is extra sensible as a result of you may snap home windows to both aspect of the display (which you may need to do manually with Ark in cockpit mode). Extra importantly, the Odyssey G9 Neo appropriately helps a number of sources. In its present type, you may solely have one HDMI supply is lively on Ark on the identical time. The remainder of the display is both lifeless area or area for Samsung apps.

This enormously limits Ark’s potential. Though Home windows and MacOS do not have instruments for vertical show, the truth that you may’t have a console on one display and a PC on one other defeats the entire function of getting a show. just like the Ark within the first place. This console and PC setup is among the principal promoting factors of the Odyssey G9 Neo.

At a premium

Front view of the new Samsung QLED Odyssey gaming monitor on a table.

Even with all the problems Ark has in comparison with the Odyssey G9 Neo, there’s one common issue that limits its capacity to catch on: worth. At $3,500, the Ark sits on the highest worth level for Samsung shows. That is $1,200 greater than the listing worth Odyssey G9 Neo, and as much as $1,900 extra when the Odyssey G9 Neo goes on sale. The Ark is much more costly than some 8K TVs.

Merchandise just like the Odyssey G9 Neo or Ark can by no means be judged linearly. They’re costly and after a sure level the value distinction simply would not matter. Should you’re prepared to spend $3,000 on a monitor, you are in all probability prepared to spend $3,500. The hole between Ark and Odyssey G9 Neo is simply too large to disregard. You may simply construct a PC for the value distinction, which is not nice contemplating each screens serve comparable functions.

The Ark is a singular idea and it really works. As loopy as it might appear, Samsung has discovered one thing with a vertical monitor that may provide the better of each worlds: an immersive multimedia expertise and loads of room for multitasking. It simply wants extra time to marinate, not like the Odyssey G9 Neo, which acknowledged and capitalized on the pattern simply because it hit a tipping level.

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