There is just one, lonely non-Retina MacBook Pro left available to buy from Apple. Not only is it the last of its kind, it's also the only Mac left with a built-in optical disc drive. But the non-Retina MacBook Pro could soon be dropped from Apple's line-up if the rumours are to be believed.

This month, a report from DigiTimes claimed that Apple will discontinue the non-Retina MacBook Pro later this year when it updates its Retina MacBook Pro line-up, though expected dates for this change have yet to be uncovered. 

It does seem likely that the non-Retina MacBook Pro is nearing the end of its life in Apple's line-up, and this is certainly not the first time it's been discussed and rumoured among Apple watchers.

Back in January last year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the non-Retina MacBook Pro would be discontinued in 2013. While not a completely accurate prediction, Apple did discontinue all but one of the non-Retina models in October, and also reduced the price of the entry level 13in Retina model to make it just £100 more than the non-Retina version. In turn, this made the 13in non-Retina model a much less appealing option, and we'd be surprised if Apple's seeing many sales of that model now.

Apple previously phased out its MacBook (non-Pro) in 2011 when the MacBook Air became the more appealing option thanks to price and specs, so it's probable that Apple is planning to take a similar approach with the non-Retina MacBook Pro.

In addition to the Retina display, the Retina models of the MacBook Pro also have a slimmer, lighter design and boosted internal specs compared with the non-Retina version, so provide a significantly more powerful and portable machine.

The end of the non-Retina MacBook Pro will also mean the death of the optical disc drive in Apple's computers, though, which is one thing the Retina MacBook Pro (and all of the other Macs in Apple's line-up) is missing.

While this could potentially pose a problem for those looking to play disc-based games, watch DVDs, listen to CDs and burn discs, Apple does offer an external disc drive called the Apple USB SuperDrive for £65.

There's little solid speculation about the release date of new MacBook Pros (which is likely to signal the end of the non-Retina version), but some analysts have suggested September could be an option, while others think Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June could be the launch date.

If the non-Retina MacBook Pro does get discontinued later this year but you wish you could get your hands on one for the optical drive when they've been removed from sale, Apple is likely to continue offering refurbished models in its official Apple Refurbished store.

[Wondering whether to buy a MacBook or a Mac desktop? Find out if you should buy a Mac laptop or Mac desktop here.]

READ: Which Mac laptop? MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro comparative review