Apple is set to completely overhaul the MacBook Pro, giving the popular notebook a new design much closer to that of the MacBook Air, according to a report.

Apple Insider claims that sources familiar with the new MacBook Pro designs have said that the optical drives and traditional hard disk drives will be scrapped altogether.

Instead there will be solid-state drives (SSDs), enabling the MacBook Pro to be much thinner than before, but also reducing the number of moving parts - the result of which should be a much more durable MacBook that is less likely to break.

Existing MacBook Pro designs are expected to be phased out over the course of the year, the report says, and Apple should have completed "a top-to-bottom revamp of its notebooks lineup" by the end of 2012.

There will be 15in and 17in models of the new MacBook Pro, though the latter will be released after the 15in version, which is expected to be released some time in the second quarter of 2012.

It'll have Thunderbolt connectivity and will be based around Intel's forthcoming Ivy Bridge architecture, Apple Insider believes.

Of course, this isn't the first we've heard of a thinner, 15in MacBook. Back in October, rumours from Japan spread that Apple was working on such a device, though it was unclear whether it was a larger MacBook Air or thinner MacBook Pro.

Components for the new MacBook were reported to have started shipping towards the end of last year.