When you're on your laptop away from an outlet, the last thing you want is things like Flash animations on web pages eating up your battery life. But those sort of plugins do. Chrome has a new setting that can easily save your battery life.
According to the official Google Chrome blog, when you use this feature, Chrome will intelligently pause content like Flash animations that aren't the main content of the page. You can click to resume the playback if needed. The change should "significantly" reduce your power consumption (and hopefully kill those tab-crashing Shockwave Flash page errors that come up too often in Chrome).
To get to the option, go to Chrome's settings (via the menu icon in the navigation bar), then click on the "Show advanced settings" link, and then click the "Content settings..." button in the Privacy section. Scroll down to Plugins and select "Detect and run important plugin content" then hit Done.
It's not clear whether this works for other types of plugins besides Flash, but it's a nice new option in any case that could keep you working at least a bit longer unplugged.