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Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro X constructs a new balance of power for slim laptops

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Slim laptops and content creator-spec power, these don’t always go in tandem. Not to say attempts haven’t been made in the past, but most experiences have been sacrificed (at some point, some last longer than others) at the altar of managing thermals in an incredibly packed space. I say this with some amount of certainty, those examples haven’t done things as well as Lenovo has, with the Yoga Slim 7i Pro X laptop.

Particularly impressive too, since there’s no compromise on performance even after a few hours of runtime. That’s when most laptops tend to slow down, in different degrees, as the heating catches up. Mind you, the Yoga Slim 7i Pro X review unit we’ve experienced is spec-ed out with the Intel Core i7-12700H processor (this is the 12th generation chip, the 13th gen options are still some way off), 16GB RAM, a 1TB SSD and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics. A notch-above casual gaming is definitely on the agenda.

The 14.5-inch UPS display with a 3072 x 1920 resolution. That display size is unique, but it isn’t any closer to the square-er aspect ratios laptops have been dabbling with for a while now, though the aspect ratio is 16:10. This screen brings colours through quietly nicely and well separated, and the sharpness is on point too. The vividness is impressive, though at no point will you feel that images have their colours boosted unnaturally.

Lenovo talks about 100% coverage for RGB colour gamut with hardware calibration helping achieve complete Delta E<1 standard accuracy level. Yet, for photo and video editors, the “pro” users we often refer too, there isn’t any clarity on DCI-P3 or Adobe RGB. This isn’t a touchscreen, though that’s an option too. It is a non-reflective display for the most part, which adds to useability comfort.

An observation that cannot be ignored is that auto-brightness is a tad too aggressive with the measurements and changes. This leads to visible (and jarring) variations, often looking like flickering, if you’re working on a document or reading a webpage with a white background. There is absolutely even backlighting though, with no brighter areas visible with a variety of colours on screen.

I’ve said this before and must re-emphasise that the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro X (at least this variant) is powered by an Intel Core i7 chip, and with everything else around it, this holds the performance levels quite well. Without getting into the artificial benchmark conundrum, it is safe to assess that the real-world performance, even when stressed with multi-tasking, remains effortless. This is a powerful laptop. It won’t slow down. Though if you’re on battery power, that’ll have to bear some sacrifice.

Also Read:Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa is uncomplicated yet perplexingly finite

I would like to draw your attention to the Lenovo Vantage software, one of the genuinely useful utilities. Power and performance, battery charging specifics (such as rapid charge) and the power-on habits (opening the lid can power on the Yoga Slim 7i Pro X too, if you wish) – these are more controls compared to what Windows 11 offers by default.

Performance is definitely aided by the Nvidia graphics, which if you have the latest driver package installed (this will be on Nvidia’s website), can work alongside the processor to get software to load faster. And better. Good news this, for games as well as the more resource intensive image and video editing suites. But then again, updating the component drivers is basic hygiene for any laptop, the advantages of which quite apparent here too.

It is no joke for a slim laptop to let you play Forza Horizon 5, albeit with some visual elements dialed down. Yes, the fans do get quite audible as the rapid heat generation during gaming demands quick dispersion too.

Lenovo has given the Yoga Slim 7i Pro X a 1080p webcam, which in other words, is Full HD resolution. Contrary to the expectations this sets, how you’ll be seen in video calls, is just about acceptable. It is hard to point to what the issue is – the sensor or the fact that it isn’t processing enough ambient light to brighten up the image. There is no Windows Hello face recognition available too – that’s double disappointment considering there’s no fingerprint sensor too.

The keyboard will be familiar to anyone who has used Lenovo laptops before. Yet, you’ll notice soon enough that the key response is definitely sharper and there is slightly less travel – this in turn eliminates the spongy sentiment that has been a trademark of many Lenovo keyboard iterations in the past.

Lenovo, it must be emphasized, has blended consistent performance in a form factor that is hard to miss. The Yoga Slim 7i Pro X is about as premium as a premium Windows 11 laptop gets. You’d certainly not expect anything less, with the range priced 1,25,300 onwards, depending on the configuration you choose. Not exactly the lightest on paper, tipping the scales at 1.4 kg, but absolutely not a hardship to carry this around.

There are two colour tones of grey at play on this aluminum chassis. The lid has a darker shade, while the keyboard deck and the underside shifting to something lighter. The gentle curves on the sides add a really nice touch, as does the placement of the power key on the right-side spine. There’s even a full HDMI port (no dabbling with adapters) alongside a full USB and multiple USB-C ports – it was a stress-free process of connecting this with an external display.

There is little doubt the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro X will compete for the attention of an overlapping demographic of users, as the HP Spectre laptops. Prices, the premium and slim laptop positioning, as well as most of the specs, will be comparable. The combination of the processor and dedicated graphics delivers on the potential for performance. And that’s one thing with the HP Spectre doesn’t have on the default X360 series. Will that define your purchase decision?


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‘Rationalise corporate tax rates’: US group’s appeal to govt ahead of budget

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Ahead of the annual budget presentation, an India-centric top US strategic and business advocacy group has urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to simplify and rationalise direct and indirect taxation system in India, a move it believes would increase the confidence of global investors and yield greater foreign direct investment.

Click here for full coverage of Union budget 2023

Direct taxes can be in the form of income tax, capital gains tax or securities transaction tax, while indirect taxes such as GST, Customs Duty or VAT are levied on all end-consumers to buy any goods or services.

“Rationalise corporate tax rates for foreign companies,” said the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) in its submission to the finance ministry ahead of the annual budget presentations on February 1. It said that the rate for foreign companies, including banks be reduced to bring parity and sought to rationalise tax for new manufacturing companies.

Urging India to simplify capital gain tax reforms, USISPF sought harmonising holding periods and rates of different instruments.

“Reiterate India’s commitment to the global tax deal,” it said and urged the Union Finance Minister to extend the concessional tax regime to Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) from investment in securities.

USISPF has also suggested tax incentives to specific sectors like renewable energy and R&D investment in the health sector.

Among the Forum’s recommendations include advocating for a stable and predictable tax environment, improving the ease of doing business environment, rationalisation of the cost of doing business, and rationalisation of tax rates and tariffs.

On indirect taxes, the USISPF sought clarification on customs duty exemptions provided to oil and natural gas companies, reduction in customs duty rates for x-ray machines from 10 per cent to 7.5 per cent and providing customs duty exemption on all items imported by specified research and development units.

USISPF urged the finance minister to roll back the customs duty increase on nutritional products considering the importance and significance of the product and encourage the availability of scientifically designed nutritional food in India.

Among its recommendations on customs tariffs and duties and customs, processes include addressing ambiguities in the customs tariff act on telecom products, an extension of concessional customs duty to advanced biofuel projects and strengthening the process on the ground with respect to trade facilitation schemes like CAROTAR and Faceless Assessment.

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LIC doubles down on Adani amid Hindenburg’s fraud claims

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India’s largest life insurer is plowing more money into Gautam Adani’s flagship unit, undeterred by a short seller’s fraud allegations that wiped out more than $50 billion of the conglomerate’s market value in two sessions. State-controlled Life Insurance Corp. of India is spending about 3 billion rupees ($37 million) as an anchor investor in a $2.5 billion new share sale by Adani Enterprises Ltd., according to a filing. The investment would add to its current holding of 4.23%.

Also Read | LIC, SBI savings at risk amid Hindenburg vs Adani? Here’s what banks said

LIC’s investment signaled its vote of confidence in Asia’s richest man and his beleaguered group on Jan. 25, which is facing its toughest test yet after US-based Hindenburg Research in its report earlier this week characterized its meteoric rise as “the largest con in corporate history.” LIC is among 33 institutional investors coming in as anchors in the FPO, along with names such as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Al Mehwar Commercial Investments LLC.

While the amount Mumbai-based LIC is investing is relatively tiny — considering it has almost 43 trillion rupees of assets under management at LIC — it marks a contrarian position to other domestic financial institutions that have little to no Adani investments. It also comes in the face of a contagion that hit stocks exposed to Adani Group, including LIC that plunged the most in more than a month on Friday in Mumbai.

“LIC thinks contrarian,” said Arun Kejriwal, founder of Kejriwal Research & Investment. “It has always minted money whenever there is market volatility. It doesn’t receive money for short duration. It acts as long-only fund.”

Also Read | Gautam Adani: Asia’s richest man in the eye of a storm

An email and text messages sent to the LIC chairman seeking comments on its Adani Group investments were not immediately answered.

With over 250 million policy holders across India and assets under management as large as the nation’s mutual fund industry, LIC is among India’s systemically most important institutions. Its exposure to the Adani Group, known to be closely aligned to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development goals, is also symbolic of the tycoon’s political clout.

LIC is an investor in five Adani companies, with stakes ranging from 1% to 9% that was worth a total of 722.68 billion rupees on Jan. 24 — just before the Hindenburg report was published.

No other Indian insurance company has any significant holding, as per December 2022 data filed with stock exchanges. Most mutual funds have largely stayed away from the group, despite some wild rallies seen by some of the stocks. Adani Enterprises for instance, surged over 1,900% in the last five years, trumping even the likes of Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc.

The high exposure of state-backed financial institutions “has implications for financial stability” and for the millions of Indians “whose savings are stewarded by these pillars of the financial system,” Jairam Ramesh, a lawmaker with the opposition Indian National Congress party, said in a statement Friday.

Adding Weight

The sell off triggered by Hindenburg’s report may now be adding more weight to such concerns. The rout deepened Thursday, with some units like Adani Green Energy Ltd. and Adani Total Gas Ltd. tumbling by their daily limit of 20%. Adani Enterprises fell 19%.

The short seller has alleged that Adani Group was involved in “brazen” market manipulation, accounting fraud, used offshore shells for money laundering and siphoned from listed companies. The conglomerate has dismissed the report as “a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations.” It said it’s also exploring legal action.

Last week, Adani Group Chief Financial Officer Jugeshinder Singh acknowledged the lack of interest shown by domestic institutional investors.

“We understand mutual funds missed Adani growth stock rally,” he said at a press briefing. “We should have communicated to mutual funds.”

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LIC, SBI savings at risk amid Hindenburg vs Adani? Here’s what banks said

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As the shares of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani faced a bloodbath on Friday following a report by a US investment firm claiming it had committed “brazen” corporate fraud, concerns have been raised over its implications for financial stability and savings of crores of Indians in financial institutions such as Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and State Bank of India (SBI).

The Congress party called for an investigation into the allegations made by Hindenburg Research and said it may have exposed India’s financial system to systemic risks “through the liberal investments in the Adani Group made by strategic state entities like LIC, SBI and other public sector banks”.

Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in charge of communications, said in a statement that the Hindenburg report demands a response from the Congress party since the Adani Group is “no ordinary conglomerate” and has been “closely identified with Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the time he was Chief Minister of Gujarat.”

“Furthermore the high exposure of financial institutions such as the Life Insurance Company of India (LIC) and the State Bank of India (SBI) to the Adani Group has implications for financial stability and for the crores of Indians whose savings are stewarded by these pillars of the financial system (sic),” Ramesh said.

“These institutions have liberally financed the Adani Group even as their private sector counterparts have chosen to avoid investing because of concerns over corporate governance and indebtedness. As much as 8 per cent of LIC’s equity assets under management, amounting to a gigantic sum of 74,000 crore, is in Adani companies and comprise its second-largest holding,” the statement added.

Also Read | For Hindenburg Research, Adani Group is a man-made disaster in the making

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said if the allegations are proven correct it will “destroy lives of crores of Indians who park lifelong savings in LIC & SBI.”

As Friday witnessed a sharp fall in shares of group companies and the lenders that have exposure to it, some of India’s leading public sector banks said their exposure to the Adani Group was within the limits prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India. RBI allows for no more than 25% of a bank’s available eligible capital base to be exposed to any one group of connected companies.

“There is nothing alarming about our Adani exposure and we don’t have any concerns as of now,” Dinesh Kumar Khara, chairman of country’s largest lender State Bank of India, told Reuters.

Khara said the Adani Group hadn’t raised any funding from SBI in the recent past and that the bank would take a “prudent call” on any funding request from them in the near future, reported Reuters.

SBI has reached out to the company for clarification and the board will take any decision on the bank’s exposure to the group only after that, reported Reuters quoting an unnamed official.

An official at the state-run Bank of India said the loans to the Adani group were within permissible limits.

“Our exposure to the Adani Group is below the large exposure framework of the Reserve Bank of India,” Reuters quoted an unnamed executive at the Bank of India as saying.

“Till last month, the Adani Group’s interest payment on loans has been intact.”

Bank executives at two other private lenders said that they were not yet in “panic mode” but being watchful, according to the report.

The Adani Group comprises the flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd, as well as Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd, Adani Power Ltd, Adani Green Energy Ltd and Adani Transmission Ltd.

The ports-to-energy conglomerate said it was exploring legal action against Hindenburg Research calling the report “maliciously mischievous”. Hindenburg responded that Adani had ducked the issues its research had raised and instead resorted to “bluster and threats”.

“If Adani is serious, it should also file suit in the US,” the firm said in a statement. “We have a long list of documents we would demand in a legal discovery process.”

(With inputs from Reuters)


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