As spotted by Kevin Tofel at About Chromebook, Google has begun testing support for variable refresh rate in the Chrome OS 101 Dev Channel, so long as you have a compatible display.
Enabled via the newly introduced flag at “chrome://flags#enable-variable-refresh-rate” the variable refresh rate feature, as the name suggests, allows Chrome OS to control the refresh rate of your display in order to match it with the content on the screen which should mitigate stuttering and screen tearing.
Unfronutely, while this feature has popped up in the Chrome OS 101 Dev Channel it appears to be entirely useless at the moment unless you’ve got your hands on some unreleased hardware. That’s because alongside enabling this feature, you’ll also require a “capable display,” which is a problem as there don’t appear to be any Chromebooks with variable refresh rate displays on the market.
Thankfully, there’s a good chance that Google is encouraging some Chromebook manufacturers to release some new models with “capable displays” now, as otherwise, we struggle to find a reason as to why Google would release a literally useless feature into Chrome OS.
While nothing has been officially confirmed just yet, it’s possible that these new hypothetical Chromebooks could be more focused on gaming, since variable refresh rate support and displays should mean a smoother gaming experience.
Alongside this, Google also recently confirmed that Steam should finally be coming to Chrome OS and Chromebooks “soon,” via the Dev Channel, however, this is still no word on just when support for the PC storefront will arrive.