Samsung Odyssey G9 Monitor REVIEW
This G9 computer monitor is huge but that’s a good thing, according to PAT PILCHER who is smitten with its charms.
At 49 inches, it’s not just big. It’s positively mahoosive. It’s a curved beastie whose rear has a futuristic white shiny plastic design with a blue illuminated monitor stand mount. Its futuristic looks resemble something straight from the set of a high budget sci-fi series such as The Expanse.
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The Neo is about the same size as my entire computer desk and sitting in front of it clutching a mouse, I loved how it almost filled my whole field of view. For gaming, this translated into a huge improvement in my situational awareness. I knew what was on either side of me just by turning my head instead of farting about with the mouse. For productivity apps, I loved that I could have 3-4 full-sized windows open and still have spare desktop space. Multi-tasking suddenly became a whole lot easier.
On-screen images really popped thanks to the combination of mini-LED backlighting, which delivered a bonkers 2,000 Nits of brightness, a huge enhancement over traditional LCD for luminance, while more granular backlighting full-array local dimming translated into enhanced contrast levels. Samsung’s quantum dot LCD tach and colours were super vivid. The Neo also has a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz, keeping on-screen action silky smooth. The combination translated into pin-sharp, peeper pleasing video for gaming, productivity, and media consumption.
While the Neo is not small, it proved surprisingly easy to get set up. Moving it into position is best done by two people but mounting its stand and running cables was an absolute doddle. I particularly liked that once it was set up, all wires were tucked away behind removable panels on Neo’s rear to keep your computer desk as cable clutter-free as possible.
Around the back, there’s acres of connectivity on offer. In addition to the obligatory Display Port, you also get two HDMI 2.1 inputs, two USB-A inputs, a USB-B input and a 3.5mm headphone jack. About the only thing missing is a kitchen sink.
Tweaking the Neo’s settings is a tad fiddly as it is done using a 4-way controller button tucked away on the underside of the Neo’s front bezel. Pushing it in also powers up the screen. I’d have preferred power/setting buttons on top or side of the screen as they’d be easier to reach and use. These minor grizzles aside, there are oodles of options to enhance your gaming fun. These range from virtual crosshairs to a black stabiliser (that increases the gamma to make baddies in the shadows easier to see). Gaming with the Neo was a revelation. Instead of using my mouse to look around, I could move my head. My in-game situational awareness improved massively – it took 15 minutes before a 10-year-old pawned my ass in Halo. Oh well…
As fun as gaming was, the Neo really shone with productivity apps. Its massive 5120×1440 resolution allowed for several browser windows, Word, Excel and email and messenger (etc) sessions all happening simultaneously. Multi-tasking didn’t involve alt-tabbing, and I was flying through my work.
If that’s what’s good, what about downsides? There are a few, albeit minor ones. I have an average-sized computer desk. It normally houses my Surface book, printer, speakers, keyboard, and mouse. With the Neo, I had to place the printer elsewhere – there just wasn’t any room for it. While the stand felt built to withstand thermonuclear war, its feet stuck out, taking even more already scarce computer desk real-estate. Given the sheer amount of fun that I had gaming using the Neo, the space it consumes is a trade-off I’d be happy to make.
Another surprise was the lack of integrated speakers on the Neo. But most gamers will have their own speakers and gaming headphones, so adding speakers into the Neo doesn’t make much sense.
Finally, you’ll also need a decent gaming rig, complete with a recent video card to drive the Neo’s 5120×1440 resolution and 240hz refresh rate. If you’re willing to drop close to $3000 on a monitor, you’ll probably already have all the kit needed to make it hum, so in all likelihood, this is probably a non-issue too.
You know when you’ve reviewed really something special, as you genuinely miss it once it’s gone back. This was definitely the case with Samsung’s Odyssey Neo G9. It might be bonkers, but it’s bonkers in a totally good way. Using it changed how I worked and played, and its output can only be described as brilliant. If you need a decent amount of screen real estate and can afford it, the Neo is just what the Witchdoctor ordered.