Samsung announced that it would refresh its existing 55-inch Samsung Odyssey Ark monitor in favor of the Odyssey Ark 2nd Gen for $3000 MSRP, or Ark 2 in shorter form. Since this is a refresh, we assume that the first-gen Ark enjoyed enough success to warrant a follow-up. Seeing as this refresh is ~$500 cheaper than its predecessor, the Ark 2nd Gen may yet manage to find a wider audience…but what makes it so special, anyway?
First, the Samsung Odyssey Ark and Samsung Odyssey Ark 2nd Gen are almost the exact same display, with the same underlying VA panel with per-pixel dimming for ideal HDR10 playback, the same 55-inch screen size, the same 4K resolution, and even the same “Multi View” feature. More on that one in a bit.
This means that unless you’re gunning for one of Ark 2’s very specific upgrades over the original Odyssey Ark, you may be better off gunning for a cheaper used or refurbished model of the original Ark.
Compared to the original Ark, the Ark 2 has the following changes:
- The four HDMI 2.1 Ports on the Odyssey Ark have been changed out for two HDMI 2.2 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 port, and one DisplayPort 1.4 port.
- The Ark 2 includes a built-in KVM Switch, which enhances the experience of controlling multiple PCs connected to the same Ark display with Multi View functionality.
Overall, the differences are pretty minimal. Whenever vendors get comfortable with designs like this, refreshes that bump down the asking price a little bit aren’t out of the question at all.
The most unique features of the Ark 2nd Gen are the same features on offer with the original Odyssey Ark monitor, as well. The “Multi View” functionality allows you to use multiple inputs on Ark monitors simultaneously— up to four 1080p inputs divided evenly on the 4K screen if you so please. You can also use similar functionality to change your effective aspect ratio from 16:9 to 21:9 or just shrink the output of your monitor from the full 55 inches to a more desktop-standard 27 inches. (For readers who think 55 inches is really pushing the definition of “monitor”— you are not wrong.)
And last but not least, there’s the unique size, curvature, and adjustability of the monitor to consider. You can also re-orient the monitor in pretty much any way you like, including a standing portrait mode for those of you most poisoned by Feeds and Instant Messaging.