One very mundane thing that is often overlooked in price comparisons is warranty coverage. A given Apple may appear cheaper but comes with a meager 1-year warrant. Adding Applecare for 3-years warranty adds another $200+. On the Dell side many business laptops and mobile workstations come with a base 3-year warranty that can be extended out to 5 years if desired at a fairly low cost.
With the near-total shift to a consumer market focus, Apple has forgotten about TCO in any meaningful way as they are now totally wrapped up in the "new" and in irreparable planned obsolescence.
Hey, can you unglue my battery?