Google is testing variable refresh rate (VRR) support in the Chrome OS 101 Dev Channel, as first noted by Kevin Tofel on About Chromebooks† You’ll need to enable a flag at chrome://flags#enable-variable-refresh-rate to access the feature, which Google says can be used with “capable screens.”
VRR helps prevent screen tearing by synchronizing a screen’s refresh rate with the frames per second (FPS) of what’s on the screen. Google’s test of the feature could indicate a smoother gaming experience on Chrome OS, which would make sense given that Google just announced that Steam will be “coming soon” for Chrome OS. Rumors of the release of three potential gaming-focused Chromebooks are also circulating, a possibility only made stronger with a new Chrome OS flag that adds RGB keyboard support.
But on the other hand, VRR support could indicate an improved refresh rate for future Chrome OS tablets. As my colleague Dan Seifert points out in his review of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 and the HP Chromebook X2 11, Chrome OS is currently quite clunky when used in tablet form. Tablets with Chrome OS need VRR if they want to compete with Samsung and Apple – the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, while the iPad Pro comes with ProMotion support (which is actually another name for VRR) that makes scrolling animations smoother.