Google to Fix Chrome OS' Laggy Touchscreen Issues

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Is your Chromebook sluggish in tablet mode? We have good news for you: Google is working on 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.

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.

It's not clear when Google will release a fix for this issue, but the company gave the bug a priority rating of 1, which means it's a primary concern for the Chrome OS team. We have reached out to Google for specifics and will update this article if we hear back. 

We'll cross our fingers that the update arrives soon, for the sake of detachable Chromebooks, including Google's own Pixel Slate. 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.

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