Flash Kills the MacBook Air Battery 33% Faster

When Apple shipped its latest MacBook Air laptops without Flash preinstalled, it gave the explanation that it would rather users installed Flash themselves so that they could get the latest, most secure version.

This is a plausible explanation because often times Apple fails to include the latest build of Flash even in its most recent Mac OS X updates. The latest builds of Flash include GPU video acceleration – something that current Mac users have to upgrade themselves if they want the feature.

There could be another very big reason that Apple left out Flash in its latest, thinnest laptops, and that would be battery life.

In Ars Technica's tests of the 11-inch model, it found that the little laptop survived 4 hours of Safari web browsing with Flash enabled. With Flash taken out of the system, the laptop ran for just over 6 hours.

Apple quotes a 5 hour battery life for this particular MacBook Air, so real world numbers appear to be within a close range of that. Still, for those on the go with a new MacBook Air, is it worth sacrificing a third of your battery life for Flash?

Perhaps the best solution would be to have Flash disabled elements until the user decides to display them, like Click to Flash.

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    Top Comments
  • Requiring the user to go and get Flash defeats the purpose of it being a mac. Aren't apple's computers known for their ease of use? Requiring the user to download and update Flash kinda kills that...
    23
  • rexterWith new flash drives comes with more and more transistors. I always wonder if the drive still takes less power than the conventional hard drive counterpart, now apple found that for me.It seems to me is that Seagate is the better option for me with their hybrid drive. I guess I'll wait for more test about this issue.



    dude you aimed for east, but you hit west
    20
  • wotan31Apple's implementation of FreeBSD has always been rather poor, running significantly slower than the original.


    Fixed.
    18
  • Other Comments
  • Adobe's Flash implementation on OSX has always been rather poor, running significantly slower (and with much higher CPU utilization) than on Windows. I don't blame Apple for wanting to dump flash in favor of a more open standard. Open standards like HTML5 allow Apple (or Firefox or whoever) to optimize the source code and write a lean and fast implementation. With a proprietary product like Adobe Flash, nobody has any access to the source code except Adobe.
    16
  • Requiring the user to go and get Flash defeats the purpose of it being a mac. Aren't apple's computers known for their ease of use? Requiring the user to download and update Flash kinda kills that...
    23
  • Flash is actively drawn and persistent on web pages. It's also known that it is CPU/GPU intensive. It's like running a DVD nonstop. It takes extra CPU cycles and possibly extra components.

    TLDR = Cpu usage eats battery, duh!
    12