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RTFA. Requirements with his job rule out satellite. Having personally had a stint in sh*thole rural Wisconsin I can tell you, satellite is a pretty absurd option and really just an act of desperation. He presently uses a Verizon powered hotspot but keeps hitting the 30GB cap even though he borrows a local Starbucks wi-fi for downloading. He did attempt to explore building out the 2500' but Comcast wouldn't consider it. Microwave line of site providers are not in range. Washington law bars municipal providers from retail.
Nor is it 'nice' that Google shows non-competioros offerings, it is a REQUIREMENT to running a search service. A search service that only shows your own products is not a search service, it is a search function for your products.
Forgive me but what law or regulation defines that as a requirement?
No one is saying that Google can't serve their own interests. What they are saying is that Google must first serve their customers interests, than their own interests.
That is a nice idea--for the customer. However, this anti-capitalistic idea doesn't have a leg to stand on, especially in the US. Neither is it routinely and commonly practiced nor is it enforced. In practice a business first serves its shareholders, the scraps and trimmings go to the customers.
The FTC is seeming to suggest that it would be more proper for the Apple store to introduce customers looking to buy an office PC to Microsoft offerings first because they have a larger market share. Or Verizon to show plans from TMobile ahead of their own because they're more economical.
Just because Google happens to offer services that incorporate non-Google offerings doesn't mean they don't have a right to serve their own interests. If I'm using Google I expect to be shown Google offerings. If I'm using Travelocity I expect to be shown Travelocity services. It's nice that they incorporate their competitors offerings as an option but I certainly don't expect them to say, "we suck, why not check out this offer from Expedia".
You have a position you're trying to defend and logic and rational thinking might be the last thing on your mind. I get it. However, for your own benefit you might want to re-evaluate the latest crop of notebooks. I'm sure there are some crap ones, always are. There are also some very good ones. Not everyone plays the non-sense games such as Dell wherein you have to bust your wallet to get away from certain junk components, or certain unreasonably low specs. Asus' G751 series is such an example. It can run for hours under full CPU + GPU load with little demonstration of the fact. The case is as cool as at idle, a quiet, warm stream of air flows out the back. Performance is as I said peer with my development workstation.
This is also for a student, in case you missed it. Portable and inexpensive is key. What makes you think this student is willing/able to tether their notebook to a "big iron" back at home. Campus IT doesn't always take kindly to nor facilitate personal servers. You're also advocating two purchases which kind of defeats the point of inexpensive.