The person who set this up would clearly know what he was doing or he wouldn't have been able to make it work.
I'm guessing it was a move in the making. The intention was probably to move over to pfsense, drop the fortigate and perhaps remove routing from the switch. It's possible the fortigate is old and can't handle routing at line speed, hence the L3 routing in the switch.
I'm guessing the fortigate and the switch was setup long before pfsense.
If the fortigate is the actual edge device, maybe this was setup as a simple way to bypass the pfsense for fussy devices or troubleshooting?
I could see setting something like this up so that you can tell a remote user "go plug it into xyz switch and let me know if it starts working"
On faster computers I don't notice much of a difference between chrome and firefox and actually prefer firefox personally. But in this particular case I'm not sure it's the CPU at fault, it could also have been lack of RAM.
Same here, about the same and tend to use Firefox.
I haven't seen any difference between the Prodesk and Elitedesk from a workability POV. But the Elitedesk do come with US support and generally don't have to dick around much with L1 support when calling in. I also think they come with a 3 yr warranty by default... when you add that to the Prodesk, they costs come close to the same, so if you're considering 3 year warranty - I'd go Elitedesk.
Do you really need that kind of horsepower in a Chromebook? I'm not knocking the amount of RAM... but an i7 is a bit overkill, isn't it? -- Unless you're running hefty Android apps or something.
Maybe this type of device will encourage the development of heftier apps for chrome os... Video/audio stuff, graphics, etc. I'd run Reaper on a Chromebook like this to record multitrack audio... Assuming the audio hardware drivers existed.