Other MacBooks in the current range, including the popular MacBook Air, available in 11-inch and 13-inch models, have also received processor, memory and storage upgrades - starting at 4GB RAM and 128GB flash storage, configurable up to 8GB and 512GB.
The new top of the range MacBook Pro laptop, with a 15 inch high resolution display claimed to be four times the resolution of the previous model (a 13 inch version is also available), is effectively an acknowledgement by Apple that for many users the new desktop will be the laptop if it isn't already.
The new flagship MacBook is also less bulky than its predecessor, weighing just over 2kg.
Apple global marketing boss Phil Schiller, a regular at Apple launches, predictably described the company's new showpiece product as "the most beautiful MacBook we’ve ever made.”
All the new MacBooks will come installed with the current Lion OS but will receive free upgrades to the new Mountain Lion (Mac OS 10.8) when it is released next month.