Is it just us, or does it feel like the engineers at Samsung and LG feel the need to one-up one another every year with something that consumers probably don’t need; we were slightly bemused last week by the new LG 43-inch bendable LX3 OLED 4K Flex TV — and that only makes us even more cynical about the new Samsung Odyssey Ark.
A curved 55-inch 4K gaming TV that rotates. For $3,495.95 USD.
Does the packaging for the Odyssey Ark include two TVs? That’s a biblical joke for those who flunked out of Hebrew or Sunday school.
We were so curious about both releases that we conducted an informal poll of 13 gamers; which included my 16 year-old son who spends at least 24 hours per week at his gaming “station” and a number of his friends from around the neighborhood and overseas who battle it out each night after finishing their homework.
These kids already use 42″+ TVs, gaming chairs, gaming headsets from companies like Audeze and Beyerdynamic, and spends hundreds of dollars on all kinds of add-ons to enhance their favorite games.
After passing around the press release on their smart phones, the majority wanted to know who could afford a $3,495 TV or how this was going to fit on their desktop, or who had parents that would let them replace their existing TV with this?
Three of the respondents admitted to using multiple 27″ screens on their desktop in their bedrooms, but that they couldn’t imagine sitting that close to a 55-inch curved screen and not feeling somewhat claustrophobic or eye strain.
LG’s LX3 OLED Flex TV seemed more reasonable to most of the respondents but only if the price was below $2,000 USD — which is rather unlikely and LG has yet to confirm a price.
The LX3 is a 4K, 120Hz OLED panel that works well with Dolby Vision HDR and offers a number of the features that gamers demand including support for HDMi 2.1, a variable refresh rate, and low latency mode for those playing on gaming consoles.
PC games are not left out in the flood waters by LG, because the LX3 offers all of the aforementioned features along with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync.
So what do you get with the Samsung Odyssey Ark for $3,495?
Let’s put the animals…I mean kids to sleep and take a look.
The Samsung Odyssey Ark represents a bold new direction for gaming – its rotating 55-inch 4K curved screen delivers an immersive, cinematic gaming experience for console and PC gamers.
The large 1000R curved display wraps around a gamer’s field of view, filling their peripheral vision for next-level immersion. This is further emphasized by Odyssey Ark’s Cockpit Mode, which enables the screen to rotate vertically for an entirely new gaming and multi-tasking experience.
The design and size of the screen allows gamers to have three (or four) different screens on display at the same time.
To create a cinematic gaming experience, Odyssey Ark uses Samsung’s proprietary Quantum Matrix Technology Mini LED technology that provides precise lighting expressions and detailed HDR control for superior 4K picture quality. Odyssey Ark’s Matte Display provides anti-glare and anti-reflection protection, minimizing distractions and keeping users focused on the content in front of them.
The screen features Sound Dome Tech with Dolby Atmos, AI Sound Booster and Quad Object Tracking Sound (OTS), offering surround sound for all entertainment purposes.
The box itself has four HDMI ports, USB ports and an Ethernet port for those who would prefer to have wired connection instead of using the built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
Samsung have not included a DisplayPort, which is something that might seem odd for a PC monitor The HDMI 2.1 ports, however, will handle gaming consoles at 4K and 120Hz and PC games with even higher refresh rates.
Digging through the specifications, it would appear that you are limited to using one HDMI source at a time; which means that you can play a game, watch TV, read a spreadsheet, and surf.
Can people really do all of those things at the same time?
The vertical mode has very little practical application for work, but we can see the appeal for gaming although having to look up all of the time might cause some serious neck strain.
Gamers will likely take a hard look at this but the $3,495 asking price makes this a very niche product.