Jason Snell reflects on the issue in this article: iPadOS approaches the edge of desktop computing – Six Colors
My personal assessment is that a lot of the performance attributed to iPadOS comes from two features:
- The multitasking model in iPadOS is way different from MacOS. In particular, there is not really user space multitasking with background programs interrupting foreground programs. There’s pretty much one user space program running at a time. So, all the device’s resources are devoted to it.
- The iPad display architecture is vastly different from anything found in any Mac. In particular, there is variable refresh rate and touch. This would seem likely to enhance any performance metrics dominated by interaction with the display.