Chrome OS was originally a laptop platform, but slowly it’s being reworked for tablet form factors. However, as that goes on, there have been some hiccups. Most recently, many have noted the poor performance of tablet mode especially on Chrome OS products like the Pixel Slate, but it seems a fix for that lag is incoming.

If you tuned into any hands-on or review coverage of Google’s Pixel Slate, you’re likely familiar with the performance issues many have described. In tablet mode, Chrome OS has a lot of issues with lag. This is especially evident in the multitasking screen, and it seems that is the first thing Google is looking at to fix these problems.

ChromeUnboxed notes a recent bug tracker which reveals how Google plans to start fixing Chrome OS tablet mode lag in the multitasking screen. Somewhat hilariously, it seems a big reason for the poor frame rates in the animations on this screen actually comes down to how the OS renders the rounded corners on this screen.

Even on the Celeron model of the Pixel Slate, the one seeing the worst performance, Google notes that removing these rounded corners brings a “significant” jump in performance overall. So, simply put, the rendering tasks required for creating the rounded corners of apps and also the background blur is a big reason why the overview screen sees so much lag.

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.

When will this be fixed? That’s unclear. The bug tracker notes that Google wants to find another method of implementing this look, so it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see the design just revert to basics at any point. Regardless, it’s great to see that Google has heard feedback and is actively working on fixing the problem.

More on Chrome OS:

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to or encrypted to