Different people have different needs. My linux chroot on my android tablet (for which I bought a keyboard case) lets me do programming (mainly python), latex, and even libreoffice, apart from the usual mail and web browsing. And that tablet is a nearly two year old model -- lots of phones today are much more powerful. There are advantages to a powerful desktop, and also advantages to a device you can whip out whenever you have some spare time and start working on, without looking for a power outlet (battery lasts all day) or a wifi hotspot (it has a 3G sim inside it). And, when I need to run something from that desktop, I can access it from wherever I am.
A phone with a laptop-dock would work great. In fact I thought Ubuntu for Android was for precisely such uses -- I wonder what became of that.