Get a Dell 1250c color laser printer for $69.99

Technically it's an LED printer, but same difference: 10 full-color pages per minute from a compact package.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read
The Dell 1250c normally sells for around $150. It's on sale now for $70.
The Dell 1250c normally sells for around $150. It's on sale now for $70. Microsoft Store

Much as we all try to live the paperless life (love you, Evernote, Pocket, and PDFs), sometimes you still need a hard copy. And if it's a color hard copy, so much the better.

Ah, but what price color? If you want it from a laser printer, the price can be pretty steep. But not today: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Microsoft Store has the Dell 1250c color LED printer for $69.99 shipped. (Sales tax may apply in some states.) Regular price: $145.

Update: As of 11 a.m. ET, the printer is out of stock. But check back throughout the day in case Microsoft makes more inventory available. It's been known to happen.

Before I go any further, let's talk consumables -- the real price of any printer. The 1250c relies on four toner cartridges: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Staples charges around $58 for each standard-yield cartridge and $72 for the high-yields, which promise around 700 and 1,400 pages per, respectively.

So, yeah, a full set of replacement toner could run you anywhere from $225 to $300 -- way more than the price of the printer itself, obviously.

However, as I've noted many times before, ink and toner are always costly, so you might as well get the best deal you can on the printer. The good news is that the 1250c appears to come with standard-yield cartridges and not "starters," so out of the box so you should be good for at least 700 pages.

What's more, if you don't mind going the OEM route, outfits like InkTechnologies.com offer 1250c-compatible cartridges for as low as $24 apiece. Now we're getting somewhere.

Regarding the printer itself, CNET rated it three stars, praising its easy setup, compact frame, and high-resolution output. (For what it's worth, PC Magazine gave it four stars and an Editors' Choice nod.) The only real complaint: This is a USB-only printer. No Ethernet, no Wi-Fi. You can share the printer on your home network via Windows printer sharing (among other methods), but that does require you to leave your PC running 24/7.

If that's not a deal-breaker, this is one seriously sweet deal on a laser-class color printer. (Technically it's an LED printer, but tomato, tomahto.) I have no idea what kind of inventory Microsoft has, but deals like this tend to go quickly.

Bonus deal: Still think Windows RT has a future? Run, don't walk (virtually speaking), to Lenovo, where you can score the refurbished IdeaPad Yoga 11 convertible laptop for $341.53 shipped. It's an 11.6-inch RT-powered laptop that relies on a hinged screen to swing around into tablet mode. And you get a one-year warranty, despite it being a refurb. But as of this writing, there are only 135 in stock. (If you miss out, don't fret: I suspect we'll see more deals on Windows RT gear in the near future.)

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