Originally Posted by afv011
Widgets are extremely useful and have no significant impact whatsoever on battery life, if coded properly. You can always tell on Android by inspecting the battery stats.
Yup, this certainly seems to be true in my experience.
I avoided widgets when I first started out with Android, but then have slowly installed the ones that I found useful. My tablet now has a clock/weather display, the Napster music player, a twitter feed (Plume), a sound toggle button, email and gmail feeds, a calendar widget and my task display. None of these ever feature as a concerning drain in the battery stats, they're way down the list if I see them at all.
But having them active has transformed my use of the tablet. I've got them across two home screens and it doesn't feel cluttered. My home screen, which has a fair bit of empty space, is for 'play', while I swipe left to get an instant update on 'work'.