Cheap hardware? Pretty much every time someone tries to match another company's hardware with the build quality/specs of Apple hardware ("because PCs are cheaper" mythology), the other company's hardware ends up AT LEAST as expensive as the Apple hardware
No, it only appears that way because of the slanted metrics that are always used in these comparisons.
I could post equivalent hardware to the latest Mac that had a slightly slower SSD but better processor, RAM, and screen, for half the price-- but the complaint would be that the Apple has a better SSD (which is clearly what matters!)
I could post something costing ~$100 more than the latest mac, and was superior in every metric-- but the complaint would be that it cost more (which is clearly what matters!)
I could post something superior in every tech spec for the same price-- but the complaint would be that it wasnt in aluminum (which is clearly what matters!)
The fact is the apple markup is real and is generally ~50% or more. Its been true for years, and people trying to justify the tag dont want something better than an Apple or cheaper than it, they want something that IS an Apple regardless of specs, price, or build.