According to Steve Jobs, running Flash video on the iPad would cut its battery life from 10 hours to a measly 1.5. At least, that was his pitch to Wall Street Journal execs recently. But could it possibly be true?
Well, yes and no. Jobs is picking and choosing here between hypothetical versions of Flash. If the iPad version of Flash were to have hardware acceleration, which Flash 10.1 offered up for desktops (though not OS X), that wouldn't be remotely the case. If Flash on the iPad were to support hardware video decoding where available, it wouldn't require nearly as much CPU. You'd lose battery life, sure, the same way you lose battery life watching any type of video on any system, but nothing near as dramatic as 85%.