Devices running Google Chrome OS have quickly gained traction on the market and have become a staple in the classroom thanks to simple device management and low entry costs. Despite the rising fame, there are still a few areas where Chrome OS can use a little more Polish, one of which involves performance in tablet mode.
This laggy performance has even been noticeable in Google's own first-party hardware – the newly released Pixel Slate. Many reviews of the devices regretted the poor performance of tablet mode, while the same problems did not exist in their traditional "laptop" mode. Although Chrome OS was designed from the outset for portable operation, there is really no reason why performance is so great in tablet mode ̵
According to a relatively recent Bug Tracker revealed by ChromeUnboxed we have learned just what really causes the performance bottleneck and that Google is actively working on a solution. Interestingly, everything comes down to how rounded corners of the operating system are rendered in overview mode:
The bug tracker says:
A lot of animation jack seems to come from the use of Mask Layers to create rounded corners. This combined with background sharpness adds many more steps to the paint / rendering pipeline. The result (fps increase) and memory enhancement (tiles [don’t] are discarded and we actually see the content) is quite important on the Nocturne Celeron when rounded corners are removed.
ChromeUnboxed continues to argue that this lack of optimization causes many people to have a bad impression of Google's Pixel Slate hardware, when in fact the hardware is up to the task of providing a smooth user interface experience:
Men for a tablet, the overview mode is a central part of the user interface, and that is a problem. When you buy it, you buy a tablet and add accessories to make it more than that. As a tablet, the proof of transfer is central to navigating the device, and if it is poorly done (as it is currently), it gives the impression that the device is slow and poorly optimized.
The big question now is when will this "fix" be put in place? The error currently has a fairly high priority level in Google and may be in place for Chrome OS version 73.