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A recent Techaisle study on purchase intention of Ultrabooks reveals that at least 3.6 million Ultrabooks will be purchased by small to medium-size businesses in 2012, resulting in one in five PCs shipped to SMBs. While only 23 percent of SMBs are aware about Ultrabooks, 65 percent of those aware have shown intent to purchase. An Ultrabook is a computer in a category of higher-end thin and lightweight ultraportable laptops, defined by a specification from Intel.

Providing better business functionality than tablets, declining prices and increased marketing from Intel and its OEM partners, SMB Ultrabook shipments could jump to as high as 7 million, according to the study. The report noted that with increased mobility, size and weight of mobile PCs have become important factors for road warriors, who want to be able to work from anywhere and everywhere they go.

“While Ultrabooks are more stylish and cool as compared to other form factors, including tablets, pricing is an important issue for SMBs,” the report noted. “Nevertheless, Ultrabooks have created enough excitement among SMBs, and combining with Windows 8 gives it a compelling purchase decision.”

Incorporating new CULV Intel processors with integrated graphics, and flash-based SSDs, Intel claims that the main draw of Ultrabooks will be their light weight, long battery life, strong performance, ultra-fast loading times, and reasonable pricing (under $1,000) for base models. Looking forward, nearly 50 percent of SMBs have expressed their desire to purchase Ultrabooks instead of notebooks. When asked about comparing Ultrabooks with tablets in terms of mobility and performance, there was almost an equal split.

"Surprisingly, 70 percent of SMBs felt that Ultrabooks are better than MacBook Air,” said Tavishi Agrawal of Techaisle. “While MacBook Air may have created the initial buzz, most SMBs feel tied to the Windows platform and are also enticed by the lower starting prices of Ultrabooks than MacBook Air."