Canon Pixma MP500
Unlike HP, which has completely changed its technological approach, Canon stays faithful to its principles; thus, the Pixma MP500 is not much different than last year's models, such as the Pixma MP730. That said, we should also add that those products were already extremely well made, and in need of no radical changes whatsoever.
Functions And Ergonomics
If you take into account the conventional printer on which it's based-in this case, the Pixma IP4200-you'd have to say that the multifunction Pixma MP500 is an even more general consumer oriented product. While the conventional printer in question is devoid of an LCD screen, on the multifunction we have a 3.5" screen, accompanied by several slots for accessing memory cards; this is another feature missing from Canon's conventional printers. These two features increase the ease of use of the product greatly; one can, for example, scan a document and write it directly to a memory card. On the other hand, it's a pity that the memory card slots and the PictBridge port (for direct connection of a digital camera) are not easier to get at. That's particularly so if the multifunction printer is situated at ground level.
The LCD screen provides direct access to several functions, notably for the treatment of images (cropping and color correction, but not suppression of redeye). On the other hand, the menus are a bit disorganized, so you'll have to practice a bit to become proficient.