iPad 2018Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

There’s one word that sums up Apple’s latest iPad: safe. 

The new 9.7-inch device debuted earlier this month at an education-focused event in Chicago. Apple seemed to bill the device as the perfect option for schools, but as a sensible consumer product, too.

The new iPad has a more powerful A10 chip built in and has support for Apple’s $100 stylus, called Apple Pencil. But the new iPad lacks a certain freshness. It’s not a design risk like the iPhone X, nor is it a true low-cost, kid-friendly-ish option like the iPhone 5c. The new iPad’s design has been recycled, its guts have been — nearly — duplicated, and even its cost remains the same (unless you’re a school, teacher, or student, in which case, the price is now 10% cheaper). 

This isn’t necessarily a bad move on Apple’s part, though. 

For anyone who’s actively shopping for a tablet for the first time, someone looking for a lower-cost MacBook replacement, or for an iPad fan in desperate need of an upgrade, the new iPad is the perfect choice.

In fact, I’ve spent the last week using the newest iPad with an Apple Pencil, and it’s already filled a technology gap I didn’t even know I had. 

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