Most agree that the biggest advantage of thermal fax machines is the cost. As a tried and true machine with basic components, thermal fax machines are cheaper to build, and thus cheaper to buy. The cost benefits can prove better in the long run as well, especially compared to ink-jet fax machines, which require expensive ink cartridge refills. For those machines that use the direct thermal method, the only refill they need is the paper itself.
Another major advantage of thermal fax machines is their durability, which is due to their relative simplicity. They have fewer moving parts than their newer, more sophisticated competition, ink-jet and laser fax machines. In fact, in direct thermal fax machines, the only moving part is the system that feeds the paper through the machine past the printhead.
Although transfer method machines are a bit more sophisticated than direct method machines, they aren't as complex as ink-jet machines. Because neither kind of thermal fax machine is very complex, they don't break as frequently, and more often than not, when they do break, they are easier to fix. As a result, these machines often last longer.
Retail sellers of thermal fax machines often tout that they tend to be more compact than other kinds. So, if space efficiency is a factor in your workplace, thermal fax machines are a viable option.
Despite these advantages, thermal fax machines have become unpopular in many modern offices for reasons we'll discuss on the next page.