It's easy to assume a MacBook Pro would outgun an iPad in iMovie speed tests, due to its beefier processor and extra RAM. But AppAdvice found that both iPad models bested the MacBook Pro in multiple tests. What gives?
Well there could be a couple of explanations why this is the case. First, the video was raw video taken from an iPod touch, which features the same chipset as the original iPad. Because the same hardware used to shoot the video as it was to process/export it, the iPad hardware (especially the first gen model) is better optimized for the task than a MacBook Pro. Secondly, that hardware has a dedicated H.264 chip (which, as Jason points out, is similar in concept to the outboard USB dongles used for video processing). So it's not terribly shocking that the iPad performs as well as it does.
That said, those reasons dont make it any less impressive that a device the size of a magazine can do what it does. [AppAdvice]