Get a Dell color laser printer for $99 shipped

The Dell 1230c may lack the chops for heavy-duty business use, but as a home or home-office printer, it delivers speedy, high-quality color on the cheap.

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
2 min read
A color laser printer for under $100! Dell

I've always preferred laser printers to inkjets, as I find the latter slow, noisy, ink-hungry, and generally mediocre at printing on plain (i.e. cheap) paper.

Alas, color laser printers have yet to get anywhere near as affordable as their monochrome counterparts, which is why I'm tickled by this deal: the Dell 1230c color laser printer for $99 shipped.

As you might expect, the 1230c is pretty no-frills. Its paper tray holds a mere 150 sheets, its only connectivity option is USB, and its controls consist of one button and a couple LEDs. Suffice it to say, this is not a business-class model.

Still, it can crank out 17 pages per minute in monochrome and 4 ppm in color, both at 2,400 x 600 dpi. That's more than adequate for home and home-office printing.

CNET hasn't reviewed the 1230c, but PC Magazine gave it three stars out of five, praising its small footprint and near-photo-quality output but dinging its slow performance and high cost per page.

Indeed, as with any color laser, it's imperative to consider the costs of consumables. Plan on spending around $55 on average for each of its four toner cartridges. (I didn't find much in the way of remanufactured or off-brand alternatives, either.)

Still, at least you're not spending $229 on the printer itself, which is the usual price tag. If you want high-quality color printing for a dirt-cheap initial investment, this is almost too good to pass up.

By the way, I have no idea how long this price will be available, so the usual "act fast" rule applies.