There are plenty of notebooks etc that are well designed and built, but you pay for them. I have a couple of old Fujitsu notebooks and they are very good, a bit old in the design stakes nowadays, but still working and holding together very well.
That said, there is nothing wrong with what some call 'cheap and nasty', they serve a valid need where many people can't afford higher quality devices. It's also less of a loss if the cheaper devices get damaged or lost.
I have a what would be called a 'cheap and nasty' mobile phone, one of these in fact: http://zte.com.au/telstra/T95.htm. At $49 it bests my $500 HTC Touch Diamond II in many respects, the most important being able to make phone calls. It's actually a smart phone, which you wouldn't know by looking at the specs.
So many current smart phone reviews 'ooh and aah' about the camera, speaker/s, speed, look and feel etc and hardly ever talk about reception quality, the very reason for a mobile phone. I don't need a Windows 'anything' phone anymore, I need one that works first and foremost as an exceptional phone, all the other things I can do by tethering to my tablet, which this phone also does exceptionally well.
That's why that article doesn't hit the mark. There is, and needs to be, room for devices at all price ranges, which is why the likes of the Kia etc are so popular.
Yep, my wife has a 500 laptop simply because we have kids and we accepted that if it gets damaged we will just replace it. And it's still going strong.
Nokia Lumia 520 - Affordable Windows Phone with Dual Core Processor - Nokia
Nokia Lumia 520 Smartphone 4,0 Zoll schwarz: Amazon.de: Elektronik
Like I said before, there is a line between cheap and cost effective. Take a look at the Nokia Lumia 520, it is BY FAR the least expensive Windows Phone 8 handset, BY FAR well built than other handsets in that price range, and doesn't compromise user experience. You have features you would want for a low end smartphone, at a real good price, but not shoddy quality at all. That's what isn't seen much in the PC industry. Most what you see on the low end is just that, low end, cheap, and doesn't provide a stellar experience.
Oh, and speaking of hyndais and kias...
Hyundai, Kia Recall 1.7 Million Vehicles on Electronics - Businessweek
It wasn't a cruddy system either, take off a dozen screws, pop the assembly open, and everything you'd need to access is there. Put it back to together and you don't know that it's a cost effective PC. ASUS makes an ultrabook version of that made out of metal I think.... That's a good example of cost effective over cheap.
Telstra - Nokia Mobile Phones & Plans. If it doesn't have the Blue Tick, it's useless in country/rural areas. I don't see the 520 listed.
And speaking of recalls:
Toyota recalls 2.8m cars over steering and water pump faults | Business | guardian.co.uk
Toyota Lead Number of Recalled Vehicles in 2012 | AutoGuide.com News