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Apple axes non-Retina 15" MacBook Pro, keeps disk drive-toting 13" legacy model

With the introduction of Apple's latest MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup, including an entry level 13-inch model, the company phased out the 15-inch non-Retina version, leaving only the 13-inch with SuperDrive remaining.

MacBook Pro

Apple's 13" non-Retina MacBook Pro. | Source: Apple

In clear indication of the direction in which Apple is moving, the company on Tuesday updated its Retina MacBook Pro product offerings with faster CPUs, more RAM and next-generation graphics, while killing off the legacy 15-inch non-Retina model. The 13-inch MacBook Pro stands as the only non-Retina model in Apple's Online Store.

Price points were likely to blame for the non-Retina MacBook's axing, as Apple now has a high-resolution version of its 13- and 15-inch laptops starting at $1,299 and $1,999, respectively. By comparison, the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro starts at $1,199, not a substantial savings for those in the market for a new computer.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is the least expensive of Apple's high-res computers, with specs somewhat similar to the non-Retina iteration. To power the Retina quality screen, however, the new Pro uses Intel's Iris integrated graphics chip, while the older model is relegated to last-generation Intel HD Graphics 4000 technology. Additionally, the latest 13-inch version is even slimmer than last year, coming in at only 0.71 inches thick.

It should be noted that Apple has reintroduced the 4GB memory option with the low-end MacBook Pro with Retina display, possibly in a bid to keep margins high.

While it ships with OS X Mavericks, the legacy 13-inch Pro did not receive any new configurable options, retaining the last year's optional 1TB hard drive or 512GB SSD, 8GB of memory and 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor.

While some will be disappointed with the Apple's decision to kill off the 15-inch non-Retina laptop, the company is obviously moving toward a thin-and-light, high-resolution future that has no space for internal disk drives.