Let's be honest, Apple's claim that it neglected to preload Flash
on the new MacBook Airs
so that users themselves could download and install
the latest (and safest) version was a bit of a red herring. Behind that thin veil of corporate courtesy, we're now seeing a pretty potent cause for Apple's dumping of Adobe's wares. Ars Technica
's review of the 11-inch Air discovered that the machine could crank its way through six hours of web browsing when Flash was nowhere near it, but only four hours with Flash installed and giving it "the full web experience." The primary culprit was Adobe's penchant for using CPU cycles to display animated ads, which were typically replaced by static imagery in the absence of the requisite software. So yeah, it's not a surprise that a "richer" web would require more resources, but it doesn't speak well for Flash's efficiency to find a laptop loses a third of its longevity when running it.