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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Printers

Get a Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer for $169.99

There's a small catch, but this well-regarded replicator is worth the effort. Plus: an unbeatable router deal!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


Monoprice

The universe is weird sometimes. Yesterday I was searching the interwebs for a part I needed for my Micro 3D printer, which I featured last year for the then-amazing price of $399. Somehow I ended up looking at the Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer, a model I hadn't heard of before. It seemed almost too good to be true at $199.99.

I did a little research, discovered that most users regarded it as a damn good product for the price. "Huh," I thought. "I'll have to keep an eye out for a deal on that."

Because although $199.99 is already a steal, I'm not satisfied with anything until I get a discount.

Later that same day, a discount revealed itself. Oh, universe, you're the best!

So here's the scoop: Jet has the Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer for $199.99, same price as Amazon, Monoprice proper, and so on. However, newcomers to Jet can get 15 percent off each of their first three orders (by using code TRIPLE15), which in this case would drop the price to $169.99 shipped.

Paying by debit card? The price drops to $198.39. (I don't recommend opting out of free returns, the other price-drop option. That's hardly worth the 60 extra cents you save.) Ebates user? Score a 3-percent rebate. That would leave you with a net price closer to $165. (There's still sales tax, alas.)

Ultimately, though, it's that 15-percent discount you want. If you're already a Jet customer and you've ordered more than three items from the company, maybe you can enlist a friend or family member? Game the system, people!

As I said earlier, the Select Mini appears to be quite good. It incorporates a heated build plate and color LCD, connects via USB and supports all kinds of filaments. (Speaking of which, only a small quantity of "starter" filament is included, so be prepared to order more.) There's also a microSD slot -- Monoprice even includes a card preloaded with print projects.

CNET hasn't reviewed the printer, so let me refer you to this deep-dive review. Amazon customers collectively rated it 4 stars out of 5, and at Monoprice proper, the rating is even higher: 4.5 stars. There's also a very active Facebook group, which I think is an excellent resource for something like this -- especially if you're new to 3D printing.

Even if I hadn't spotted the Jet option, I'd have shared this. At $199.99, the Select Mini is an affordable 3D printer, and one that's at least as good as models costing two or three times as much. At $169.99, well, it's just a stupid-good deal.

Your thoughts?

Asus

Bonus deal: Been thinking about a router upgrade? For a limited time, and while supplies last, Tanga has the recertified Asus TM-AC1900 dual-band router for $45.99 shipped. Last time I wrote about it, it was $59.

You should read that post, because it explains everything you need to know about the product. If there's a hitch here at all, it's the fairly short 30-day warranty. But, hey, if it works, it works, right?