May 14 Update: Chrome OS 75, currently in development, reportedly fixes this issue.
Is your Chromebook sluggish in tablet mode? We have good news for you: Google is getting close to releasing a fix.
As spotted by Chrome Unboxed, a Google bug report describes an animation hiccup that causes Chromebooks to respond slowly when navigating to certain parts of Chrome OS. An About Chromebooks report reveals that this fix is coming in Chrome OS 75, which is showing speedier tablet animations in its dev build version, seen in this YouTube video:
The performance issues present themselves in tablet mode, specifically when users drag down from the top of the display to see Overview, an interface that shows all of your open windows. Reviewers and customers alike have complained about animation lag when performing this gesture on detachable Chromebooks, such as the Pixel Slate and HP Chromebook x2.
According to Google's bug report, "a lot of animation jank" is being caused by background blur and the layers Google uses to create rounded corners on animations.
Fortunately, preliminary tests with rounded corners turned off have seen a significant improvement in performance, especially on the Celeron model of the Pixel Slate.
Also, navigating to the Overview UI using alternative methods — via a three-finger swipe on a Chromebook's touchpad or pressing the dedicated key — doesn't seem to cause the same amount of lag, so we suggest using those methods until Google patches its OS.
Chrome OS 75 is expected to release on the stable channel of Chrome OS releases on June 11, according to Chromium.org's schedule.
Coming off its critically acclaimed Pixel smartphones, our expectations were high for the Slate. However, the device has been riddled with performance issues, from the sluggish animation seemingly caused by this bug to some severe Bluetooth connectivity problems that my colleague, Henry Casey, noted in our review.
This article was originally published on January 2, and has been updated with the news that the fix is coming in Chrome OS 75.