The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an old favourite. Now, consumers have found value even in its 10th version. This started out for business users, but over time has evolved for anyone who wants an ultraportable premium laptop. Therefore, a wider competition landscape now includes the HP Spectre series, Dell XPS 13 family and in some ways, Apple MacBooks as well.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 keeps the specs very similar to the Gen 9, and the ones that came out even further back in time. No surprises to look forward to. And there isn’t new complexity to deal with. Matte black finish, generous use of robust yet lightweight carbon fiber and the no-compromise approach with the ports haven’t changed.
In fact, Lenovo points out that the keyboard design (though specific keys have evolved over time, and so has the mechanism) has not changed in the last 30 years for ThinkPad laptops. Neither has the dot on the “i” of ThinkPad on the lid, which remains illuminated in case you’ve closed the lid but not shut down the laptop. Ruggedness, which is a ThinkPad’s traditional personality definer, is better. Fine details.
What’s most certainly changed is the underlying spec sheet, which defines the performance. Important to note there that Lenovo has wrapped a feature layer over Windows 11 to include new functionality such as fast charging for the battery, limiting the battery charge to around 80% to increase longevity and the Dolby Voice ambient noise cancellation that is nothing short of brilliant with blocking out the real-world noise for video calls.
Our observations about performance emerge from the combination of an Intel Core i7-1255U processor with 16GB RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive. These are, in case you’ve not identified just yet, the Alder Lake family chips. Unless you intend to stretch the ThinkPad X1 Carbon to the fullest with something like video encoding (which is possible, but a laptop isn’t an ideal port of call for it), this laptop will not bear the weight of thermals stepping in to restrict performance at any stage.
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For a typical business user, this has all the power for now, and many years to come. And ThinkPad laptops do tend to last many years. But does the generational improvement of the core specs mean better battery life too?
To be fair, it is struggling to match some rivals. We couldn’t draw anything more than 11 hours of runtime on a single charge, this when we were very careful with screen brightness and balanced sustained workloads with idle time too. This is the ballpark that the HP Spectre series also delivers. But the benchmark must be the Apple MacBook Pro, if not the Apple MacBook Air. The latest generation MBP 13 clocked almost 20 hours, under the same sort of usage, as a primary work laptop.
Lenovo alone doesn’t have to bear the responsibility. In Windows laptops, things and therefore responsibility, are more fragmented. The chip and the operating system, as well as the software you use, have their share of weightage for battery usage.
The 14-inch IPS display (this with the 1920 x 1200 resolution). It is an IPS, or in-plane switching panel. Therefore, nothing surprising about the richness of colours, the viewing angles and a panel that’s quite crisp for reading the written word. But, compared with 16:9 aspect ratio laptops, this is a square(er) 16:10 aspect ratio. To be fair, you’d be as surprised as I am when realization dawns about how much more utility this has, particularly when working on long-ish documents.
Unlike slim (and ultra-slim) laptops, Lenovo has made quite an effort to not sacrifice the connectivity options. That is also where the ThinkPad X1 Carbon definitely outdoes pretty much all of its rivals. There are a couple of Thunderbolt ports, two full-size USB 3.2 ports, an HDMI port as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack. We know what you are pointing at – Lenovo got done with the memory card reader a few generations ago, and that hasn’t changed.
I am sure the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon upholds the uncompromising family values that have held it in good stead over the years. You can always point to some trade-offs, such as a touchpad that hasn’t grown in size (perhaps it should have, considering multi-touch gestures are more common now than in 2014), no dedicated graphics or that it doesn’t look any different.
Yet, the balance still works out perfectly for an ultraportable laptop that isn’t compromising on outright performance, doesn’t give us the headache of dealing with dongles and has stayed in tune with the times, with a 16:10 display.
It would perhaps have been impossible to imagine Lenovo spending so much time on the finer points, such as the webcam, at least till a few years ago. But it has, perhaps dictated by the times and the widening of the consumer demographic.
Union Budget 2023 today: What to expect from Nirmala Sitharaman | Top points
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday will unveil the last full-year budget before Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government seeks a third term in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
From 11am in Parliament, Sitharaman is expected to announce a spending plan of over $544 billion in the financial year starting April to boost employment, fund social welfare and provide perks for manufacturing.
Bloomberg reported that Sitharaman may make a few changes to income-tax slabs to provide relief to the middle class and increase the spending on the poor through programmes such as rural jobs. The Union Budget 2023 may also focus on ramping up financial incentives for local manufacturing.
Union Budget 2023: Here are big expectations
> There are expectations that Sitharaman would put some money in the pockets of taxpayers. She is also likely to raise import duties on items such as private jets, helicopters, high-end electronic items and jewellery to encourage domestic manufacturing.
> India’s jobless rate jumped to a 16-month high of 8.3 per cent last month. DBS Group economist Radhika Rao told Bloomberg that the spending on rural job guarantees to top this year’s allocation of ₹730 billion ($9 billion), with crop insurance, rural road infrastructure and low-cost housing also getting attention.
> The budget may see production-linked incentives getting extended to sectors such as shipping containers and toys.
> The focus is expected to be on increasing the number of nursing and medical colleges, introducing HPV vaccine in the National Immunisation Program and enhancement of Pradhanmantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) coverage. Reports indicate that the health ministry has proposed the inclusion of many other requirements and its expected that some of them will be included in Budget 2023-2024.
> The Budget 2023 is a much-anticipated event for the real estate sector in India. Industry experts and stakeholders have high expectations from the government as they hope to see a number of reforms and initiatives that can help boost the real estate market and encourage investment in the sector.
> Live Mint reported that the government may provide record budgetary support to strengthen the infrastructure of Indian railways as well. The gross budgetary support for the railways is likely to increase by 29 per cent to ₹1.8 trillion in the year starting April 1 from ₹1.4 trillion in the current year.
> The budget session of the Parliament began on Tuesday with President’s address. This year’s budget session is going to have 27 sittings till April 6 with a month-long recess to examine the budget papers. The first part of the session will conclude on February 13. Parliament will reconvene on March 12 for the second part of the Budget Session and conclude on April 6.
> The Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday tabled the Economic Survey for the Financial Year 2022-23.
> The Economic Survey said India’s economic recovery from the Covid pandemic is complete and the economy is expected to grow in the range of 6 per cent to 6.8 per cent in the coming financial year 2023-24. This is in comparison to 7 per cent this fiscal and 8.7 per cent in 2021-22.
Number Theory: What does the Economic Survey tell us about the Budget?
What does the 2022-23 Economic Survey — it was tabled in Parliament on January 31 — tell us about the Union Budget? Here are four things that stand out.
Revenue growth in 2023-24 could slow down with a lower nominal GDP growth
The survey has projected a nominal growth rate of 11% for 2023-24. Real GDP growth, according to the survey, is expected to be in the range of 6-6.8%. The first advanced estimate of GDP, which was released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) earlier this month, put nominal GDP growth in 2022-23 at 15.4%. This means that nominal growth is expected to slow down significantly in the next fiscal. Unless there is a significant increase in tax buoyancy – the change in tax collections per unit change in GDP – growth in tax revenues in 2023-24 will likely be lower than what it was in 2022-23. To be sure, the moderation in nominal growth is more because of a decline in inflation rather than a fall in real GDP growth, which as per survey’s baseline projection is likely to be 6.5% next year.
UNION BUDGET 2023: FULL COVERAGE
The government will likely achieve its fiscal deficit target for 2022-23 and consolidate further in FY24
Last year’s Budget estimated fiscal deficit for 2022-23 at 6.4% of GDP. While the Revised Estimate (RE) for fiscal deficit will presented in tomorrow’s budget (and even RE numbers are liable to changes) the survey does drop a hint that the government will be able to achieve its fiscal deficit target for 2022-23. This, the survey suggests, has happened because of buoyant growth in direct taxes and Goods and Services Tax (GST) and limited revenue expenditure, “which should ensure the full expending of the Capex budget within the budgeted fiscal deficit”.
ALSO READ: After ‘smart recovery’ from Covid, what do MSMEs expect from Budget 2023
Focus on disinvestment and asset monetisation programme will continue
One area where the budget has fallen significantly short of its targets in the recent past is disinvestment. For example, the Budget Estimate (BE) for disinvestment receipts in the 2021-22 Budget was ₹1.75 lakh crore, which was brought down to ₹78,000 crore in the RE numbers for 2021-22. BE numbers for 2022-23 put disinvestment receipts at ₹65,000 crore. While the RE numbers for 2022-23 are likely to be lower than this number, the survey suggests that the government’s disinvestment push is likely to continue. The survey, in fact, has tied disinvestment and the asset monetisation programme of the government to the capex tilt in government spending. “A capex thrust in the last two budgets of the Government of India was not an isolated initiative meant only to address the infrastructure gaps in the country. It was part of a strategic package aimed at crowding-in private investment into an economic landscape broadened by the vacation of non-strategic PSEs (disinvestment) and idling public sector assets”, the survey said.
A big stimulus to mass demand may not be in the offing
Here the survey has said more by way of omission than commission. Chapter two of the survey, which talks about India’s medium-term growth prospects, makes an argument that India is set to leapfrog into a sustained high growth trajectory in 2023-2030 as a result of policy driven reforms during the 2014-2022 period. The growth boom, the survey argues, was delayed because of “balance sheet stress caused by the credit boom in the previous years and secondarily due to the one-off global shocks that followed”. “Once these global shocks of the pandemic and the spike in commodity prices in 2022 fade away, the Indian economy is well placed to grow faster in the coming decade”.
To be sure, it is to be expected that the Economic Survey – it is after all a government document – will paint a comforting picture of the state of the economy. However, this year’s survey has made a larger argument to suggest that the concerns of a K-shaped recovery in the economy where the rich (both firms and households) have done better and emerged as the primary driver of the growth revival, are unfounded. This also means that the government does not see any need to support the aggregate demand of the non-rich, which would entail larger spending on the revenue and not just capital account.
This has in fact been the driving philosophy of the budget in the post-pandemic period, and the survey’s line of argument suggests that it will continue to be the case. While such as approach has helped India’s macroeconomic fundamentals, keeping the fiscal deficit and debt-GDP ratio in check, its exact implications for long-term growth are still to be seen. That India does not have a Consumption Expenditure Survey after 2011-12 has only made this debate more difficult to resolve.
What Economic Survey says about education: Decline in…
Enrolment of students increased in schools across the country in financial year 2022, with an additional 194 million students being enrolled, while at the same time the drop-out rate witnessed a “steady decline”, the economic survey 2022-23 said.
The survey tabled by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Tuesday said financial year 2021-2022 (FY22) witnessed an improvement in the gender parity in school enrolment, growth in basic infrastructure facilities at school level, and a better pupil-teacher ratio in schools.
UNION BUDGET 2023: FULL COVERAGE
According to the survey, 265 million children were enrolled in schools across the country with around 194 million additional children being enrolled in primary to higher secondary levels. Of these 194 million, around 10 million children were enrolled in pre-primary (pre-nursery, nursery and kindergarten), 122 million in primary (classes first to fifth), 67 million in upper primary (classes sixth to eighth), 39 million in secondary (classes 9 and 10) and 29 million in higher secondary classes (classes 11 and 12).
The enrolment has increased at all levels except for pre-primary. “At the pre-primary level, enrolment reduced from 1.1 crore [11 million] in 2021 to 1.0 crore [10 million] in 2022,” said the survey.
Read | What does the Economic Survey tell us about the Budget?
The survey says that the financial year 2021-22 saw an improvement in Gross Enrolment Ratios (GER) in schools across all levels. GER stands for the enrolment in a specific level of education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the eligible official school-age population corresponding to the same level of education in a given school year.
“The GER in the primary enrolment in class I to fifth as a percentage of the population in age 6 to 10 years – for girls as well as boys have improved in FY 22. This improvement has reversed the declining trends between FY17 and FY19,” the survey said.
According to the survey, at the upper primary and primary level, the GER for girls is better than that for boys.
For instance, at the primary level, 104.8% girls and 102.1% boys were enrolled in 2021-22. It recorded an improvement from 2020-21 when 104.5% girls and 102.2% boys were enrolled. Similar trends have been observed at the upper primary level as well. In 2021-22, 94.9 % girls were enrolled as opposed to 94.5% boys. This was 92.7% and 91.6% for girls and boys respectively in 2020-21.
In higher education, the total enrolment increased to nearly 41 million in FY21 from 39 million in FY20. Since FY15, there has been an increase of around 7.2 million in enrolment , approximately by 20%. “The female enrolment has increased to 20 million in FY21 from 19 million in FY20,” said the survey.
The survey highlighted an increase in the GER in higher education as well. “The GER in higher education, based on 2011 population projections (revised), was recorded at 27.3 in FY21, which is an improvement from 25.6 in FY20. The GER for males increased from 24.8 in FY20 to 26.7 in FY21 while GER for females has also shown improvement from 26.4 to 27.9 during the same period,” it said.
The survey highlighted a “steady decline” in school drop out rates at all levels from 14% in 2020-21 to 12.6% in 2021-22. The survey emphasised that government schemes such as Samagra Shiksha, and Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009, improvement in school infrastructure and facilities, residential hostel buildings, availability of teachers, regular training of teachers, free textbooks, uniforms for children, and the PM POSHAN Scheme played the major role in increasing enrollments and retaining students.
It also mentioned that distance education in India also witnessed a 7% increase in enrolment in the financial year 2021-22 from FY20, and 20% increase since FY15.
“Basic facilities in schools continued to improve in FY22 over earlier years except for medical check-ups in schools as the schools remained closed physically in the wake of Covid-19 curbs,” the survey stated.
In terms of school basic facilities, including toilets (girls or boys), drinking water, and hand-washing facilities, and digitisation, the survey showed a significant improvement. For instance, the number of schools having the internet increased to 33.9% in 2021-22 from 24.5% in 2020-21.
Terming Pupil-Teacher Ratio as an indicator which is inversely related to improvement in quality of education, the survey stated that it has improved at all levels continuously between FY13 to FY22. “It has increased from 34.0 to 26.2 at primary, 23.0 to 19.6 at upper primary, 30.0 to 17.6 at secondary, and 39.0 to 27.1 at the higher secondary level. The improvement in the number of schools, teachers’ availability, and facilities in schools is expected to help improve enrolment and reduce dropout rates,” the survey started.
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