After searching for a couple days I finally found a solution to the all too common Gmail Contacts sync problem. Turns out, it is the power saving mode that changes everything. I switched to non power-saving and voila! contacts synced immediately. Now my question is, why would that setting not allow my contacts to sync? Seems like it should have nothing to do with sync. I know, sync uses resources but man, when I tell the machine to sync it should do it regardless of power saving settings.