Some Chromebooks take a while to start up before they fully respond to user input. It may sound like a minor issue, but that slowness is part of what keeps Chromebooks a step back from other types of machines. But according to a commit on the Chromium that Gerrit noted this week by About Chromebooks, Google is working on a fix.
The unresponsiveness is at least partly due to the virtual machine used to run Android apps on Chrome OS laptops (although the limited memory in many Chromebooks could also contribute to the problem). It seems that the Android Runtime for Chrome Virtual Machine (ARCVM) may put a strain on the Chromebook’s CPU when you first log in. The commit accuses ARCVM of eating up to 300 percent (three cores times 100 percent) of processor resources for several minutes. †
According to the commit, ARCVM “continuously consumes [the Chromebook’s] CPU for few minutes on user login before user even launched android app or playstore [sic]†
The commit attempts to address the problem by limiting the virtual machine “when it is first placed in the background” so that it will only use 25 percent of the CPU. However, that figure may change.
“Once it’s moved to the front, the restriction is removed. The restriction is then never added again until the device is rebooted,” the commit says.
It also states that the fix will ensure that ARCVM itself won’t boot slowly, as it will only be throttled after it’s started.
It’s not clear if we’ll see this fix in a Chrome OS update. In the meantime, patience is a virtue.