Cameras and TVs & Accessories and Gadgets

Review: Stoga STP50 Mini Projector

stoga-projector

I was sent this projector by Stoga for a very large discount for a review.

This projector is so much fun! I received the model STP50. The projector comes in a nice box which was wrapped in thick plastic, ensuring it came very well and safely wrapped. Inside the box the projector is really well packed and comes with a remote control, AV cable, power cable with a plug to the mains, a big screw(more on that in a minute) and an instruction manual that comes in both Chinese and English.

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The instruction manual is easy to understand with diagrams to help you locate all the inputs and buttons. The big screw that I mentioned before wasn’t mentioned anywhere on the box or instructions and I didn’t at first know what that was for but after contacting the makers I have been assured it is for disassembling and fixing the projector if something is wrong, so nothing to worry about. There’s also a warranty card mentioned in the instructions which isn’t in the box but again the makers have reassured me that in future it will be included and that they offer free repair and refund within a month of receipt of the item.

The projector is so much fun to use, and so simple too. For a start you plug the projector into the mains using the power cable provided. The projector can also be plugged in via a micro usb power cable, into a pc for example, but this cable is not provided. Then you can turn the projector on (as long as you’ve plugged in some other devices into it first) and away you go! The projector has a small light next to the nine buttons on its top that shows it is on. These buttons alone can be used to navigate through files but using the remote adds extra features I’ll explain below.

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INPUTS:
There are so many inputs to this projector, VGA, HDMI, SD, USB and AV. An AV cable is supplied which is great and meant that I could actually plug in a small little plug and play megadrive console I have straight away and project a game onto the wall. A word of warning about the usb and SD slots. These two slots need you to plug in the usb or sd card upside down. I kept trying to put the SD card in the ‘normal’ way up and it just wouldn’t go in until I tried upside down and then it goes in until it clicks (you need to push it in to get it out again-like I a camera).

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PROJECTING ONTO THE WALL:
I started off by projecting onto a wall at a slight angle, so forgive the slightly sideways shots of my photos. This projector was great at projecting onto the wall. If the image is out of focus then you grab the lens at the front and turn it clockwise or anti clock wise until the image is focused. You’d be surprised how far the lens can come out of the projector to fix the focus(see pic below) and it does completely fix to a great and quite crisp focus.

The keystone at the back can be turned slightly one way or the other to basically tilt the image forward or backwards slightly, this is great if you are projecting onto a sheet or something that isn’t exactly vertical as it just corrects the image, but I didn’t need to use this feature.

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So, I started with projecting photos using my SD card. The SD card and all the photos in a folder appear one by one and when you select one the photo will really be projected onto the wall. If you don’t press pause you’ll end up seeing a slideshow of your photos, and each photo merges from one into the other in a nice way.
BUT, there was a flaw I encountered straight away, and perhaps it is a problem with my SD card? I was only able to project 17 pages of sd card images. My sd card currently holds over 200 photos but only about 150 were displayed, with a couple of pictures out of their correct order. I don’t know what happened, and I didn’t seem to encounter this problem with a second sd card which had 2 folders of images rather than one , but it was a bit disappointing not to be able to see all the images. I was also not able to zoom in on the sd card, however rotating them was fun.

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After the SD card I moved onto the AV cable as mentioned before and I really didn’t realise that this projector has sound as well as picture. A usb stick was next with some saved tv shows and this time I placed the projector further away from the wall. In fact about 3-4 metres away from a blank wall and the entire image filled the whole wall! I played some ‘Family Guy’ onto the screen and it was just amazing to see it that size! You can really feel like you’re in a cinema with this projector.

The projector has sound, although it comes out as mono and had a slight hiss at low volume it really didn’t take away from the fun of watching, and there is a headphone socket so you can plug in a pair of headphones or a set of speakers that have a 3.5mm wire (I would use my pc speakers for example) although I didn’t test this sound feature out properly yet.

The colour can be changed the whole time you are using the projector and although it may look washed out when you first use it, this is because the colour is set to ‘cool’. I turned mine up to warm using the menu button on the remote.

Talking about the remote, this remote requires 2 AAA batteries which are not included. The remote I received looked slightly different from the one pictured in the manual but had all the same buttons, apart from the numbers. The remote lets you enter the menu, where you can do a bunch of things such as adjust the colour, change the aspect ratio (although I didn’t notice any difference), and adjust other things which I have yet to try such as noise reduction. The remote also has a turn or rotate feature. In photos this just rotated them in each direction, but with videos it actually first flipped the image back to front (eg, the character on the left is now on the right) and then upside down and upsidedown with back to front.
The remote also has a zoom function but still this didn’t seem to work for me, a bit disappointing but I don’t really have a need for a zoom.🙂

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So although I have highlighted a few bad points about the lack of zoom working and some SD images not wanting to show up I really still love this projector. The quality of the image you get is amazing. Some people have complained about perhaps the projector needing a low light to show an image. Of course all projectors need you to turn the inside lights off or draw the curtains in the room (this has always been the case even with school projectors) but I have to say that on a dull day I didn’t need to do anything other than project onto the wall and there was the image. Of course the image will show up stronger the darker the room is , but let’s not forget that this is a projector and they don’t project anything visible in high light.

The size of your projection will be affected with how far away you choose to place it. Like I said a good 3-4 metres away from a wall game me an instant image on the entire wall. Sit the projector closer and the image is smaller.

SO:
This projector has really been a lot of fun to use and considering how expensive projectors once were you can really get a lot for your money here!
I really enjoyed using it and I still can’t believe that you can get sound with a projector. I guess my memories were of school projectors that only made a large noise while showing an image. But not this projector. Yes it makes a noise, but not one that really annoys, it’s just a mild fan like noise and the sound can be played very loud with the remote to give you that cinema feeling.

I can really recommend this projector to anyone who wants to enjoy their home movies, games consoles, etc on a large screen. We’ve had so much fun projecting games on to it, and home movies that are so large your cat looks like a lion on the screen! Whether you buy this projector for your own presentations, home movies, or anything else you can think of I don’t think that for a budget projector, the STP50 will disappoint. It may have a few minor niggles (I’d like to give it a 4.5 stars but ther isn’t such a feature) but for the price I am still incredibly impressed and can really recommend this projector.

Rating: 4/5

Review published on amazon UK, click here

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