A really interesting article surfaced yesterday night about Flash and how it could reduce battery life on the MacBook Air by 2 hours. Ars Technica was running some tests about battery life and discovered that there was a reduction of about 33% if Flash was running on ads in webpages.

The recent announcement from Apple stating that they were no longer going to ship Adobe’s Flash player as standard with their MacBook Airs seems to be a wise decision in light of these figures. Was this reduced battery life the main reason, and not just ‘to ensure the users had the latest version’? On a fully charged Air, the battery life was reduced to 4 hours from 6 (on the 11-inch), purely by having some flash-based ads running in a Safari window.

When they deleted Flash, the battery life increased to its advertised 6 hour plus capacity.

TUAW notes that: “Ars Technica isn’t saying simply having the Flash plug-in installed on the Air reduces battery time, but that when visiting the same websites in Safari with Flash installed and then with Flash uninstalled, Flash ads became static ads, thus resulting in the higher battery life. In the end, Ars found that ‘Flash-based ads kept the CPU running far more than seemed necessary.'”

The design of the new MacBook Air is similar to the iPad componants when we look at the massive amount of space allocated to the battery. The iPad packs in a huge punch with its battery life, and battery capacity is a huge issue for most users. We all want a little more surf and game time!

The Air’s Logic board is a little squeeze alongside six Li-ion cells in the 11-inch Air, located under the trackpad and keyboard. The 13-inch MacBook Air uses four larger Li-ion cells which give it 6500mAh.

More information about the Flash discovery can be found on the Ars Technica website.

I’m curious if this will finally seal the fate of Flash. Knowing that installing Flash would potentially give me less time with the portable device isn’t acceptable to me. However, we could probably equally say that running music constantly could also dig into my battery. I suppose it’s a question of, do I want or need flash-based ads zapping my laptop’s power? For me, the answer is no, that is completely unacceptable. We can get around this by using extensions with our browsers (flash blockers) or uninstalling Flash completely.

Also worth noting is that although this was specifically for the Airs, we can assume that it may be the same for other laptops, so you may want to check that out for yourself.

Article Via TUAW