The Google Pixel Slate is an expensive and impressive piece of hardware, but reviewers — including our own David Ruddock — mostly agree that Chrome OS isn't quite ready for tablets. Even higher-specced versions seem to struggle with animation lag in certain situations, but we may have an explanation for one such case.
Chrome Unboxed noted one UI gesture that caused an inordinate amount of jank: pull down to enter Overview mode. Of the several methods to get to Overview (such as its own key, three-finger swipe), only the pull down from the top of the screen gesture seems to trouble the animations so severely.
According to this Chromium bug report, the "use of Mask Layers to create rounded corners" of some UI elements along with background blur is causing too many things to need rendering and slowing the whole process down. Tests with rounded corners turned off have produced much more favorable results. The Chrome team is working to release a fix for the issue soon.
The Google Pixel Slate isn't the only Chrome OS tablet that suffers from this issue, with the HP Chromebook x2 and the under-powered Acer Chromebook Tab 10 also implicated. It's much harder to accept the issue on a more expensive machine, though, providing further proof that buying a Pixel Slate right now is not such a good idea.
- Chromium Bug Report
- Chrome Unboxed