A high-end user benefits from a nicer machine. A low-end user requires it.
For example, I largely mitigate most of your issues when using my netbook by treating it as a terminal. The "real work" gets done on my faster rig, with compilation offloaded to a grid. Because of that, I'm only a tiny bit less productive on my netbook compared to working from my office.
And that entire productivity drop is due to the small screen.