Experiencing some lag on your Chrome OS tablet? A fix is on the way

Google Pixel Slate Hands-on
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Be it the new Google Pixel Slate or the Pixel Book, there’s no shortage of premium Chrome OS tablets on the market right now. However, some consumers are reporting plenty of lag with these devices when they drag down from the top of the screen to look at all their open apps in overview mode. Google is well aware of the issue and has been working on a fix since the middle of November, according to a report from Chrome Unboxed.

Though a resolution for the buggy overview mode is not likely to be pushed out right away, Google opened up a bug report for the issue way back on November 8. In that report, a Google engineer notes that the lag is linked to animation and user interface elements, and not to hardware issues. Background blur and GPU limits are believed to be the prime culprits for the glitches in overview mode. Other areas of Chrome OS are otherwise not impacted by any performance glitches.

“A lot of animation jank seems to be coming from the use of mask layers to create rounded corners. This, combined with background blur, adds a lot of additional steps in the paint/rendering pipeline. The performance (fps increase) and memory improvement (tiles don’t get discarded and we actually see the content) is quite significant on Nocturne Celeron when rounded corners are removed,” according to the Google engineer’s bug report.

Google has set a high priority level for the bug, so a fix could be coming in Chrome OS 73. Until then, consumers with premium Chromebook devices might still be experiencing the subtle lag, and it could be best to avoid using overview mode altogether.

Chrome OS itself is always evolving and has picked up quite an array of new features over the past few years. Google has been making subtle tweaks to Chrome OS, transforming the platform into something closer to Android. When we reviewed the Google Pixel Slate, that’s what we liked most about the device. With its support for the Play Store, Google’s latest devices attempt to reinvigorate the Android tablet and deliver a single experience that can replace both a tablet and laptop.


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