HP Color LaserJet CP1215Even if the economy’s in the toilet, we can always measure our progress as a society by how much less expensive color laser printers keep getting.

Heck, I remember when the most basic (and by basic, I mean crappy) color inkjet printer cost $500.

But that was in a different millenium. Today, HP serves up the Color Laster CP1215 for just $149.99 (after $150 instant rebate).

The specs aren’t bad, either: small footprint, a relatively light 40 lbs. (these used to weigh over 100 lbs.), 600×600 resolution, 12ppm black, 8ppm color, 16MB of memory, and a USB connector.

Of course, where color laser printers end up getting you is with the toner costs, which aren’t cheap at about $70 per color (there’s three, plus the black cartridge).

But you can save some money there by buying toner refills, which are easy to work with and will keep at least $20 in your pocket for each cartridge.

At the time of this post, HP was sold out of the printer on their site, but Staples has it in stock for $149.99 with free shipping.

Should that deal disappear, there’s always Adorama camera (via Amazon), which sells it for $199.95 with free shipping.

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