Ever since Apple announced its first Retina display MacBooks last year we've been expecting the death of the company's last-generation MacBook Pros. It appears that day has finally come, but there's a notable exception. Apple has largely axed its entire line of MacBook Pros with DVD drives, but one model does remain: the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which is still available on Apple's website starting at $1,199. That's the same price it's sold for during the past year, and the model has identical specs — Apple hasn't given the old laptop Intel's latest Haswell processors.
Apple's decision to keep the outdated laptop on shelves while killing off the 15-inch model is an intriguing choice. Notably, Apple isn't even promoting the laptop on its website: the MacBook Pro product page only shows the new Retina models — you have to scroll all the way to the bottom and click "other models" to see the specifications for the older laptop. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with a DVD drive is well-known as a popular machine for high school students and incoming college freshmen, so it's possible Apple is keeping the model around for education users.
With the model lineup shuffle today, the 13-inch MacBook Pro remains the only Mac available today with an optical drive. Apple has committed to removing optical drives from all of its Macs over the years, but it's possible that the company realized some — particularly students — may still need a DVD drive. Either way, it's very difficult to recommend this laptop. It starts at $100 more than the fantastic 13-inch MacBook Air and it doesn't offer any appreciable performance increase. It's also only $100 less than the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, which is a far more modern and powerful laptop. In 2013 there's little reason for an optical drive in a Mac, but if you truly need one, you're better off buying an external accessory to handle the few times you'll need to use a disc.