The speed of the n10 or any PC is based on the task being performed and how the hardware and software takes advantage of it.
I hate to say it, but the n270 is a crippled chip, with one major design feature, low power. It's actually a step back in technology in some ways. See, the CPU on your desktop (if its anything after a Pentium) can do out of order instructions. The Atom can't. This simplifies the design but makes performance strange.
Think of a program like making a cake. If the instructions say add a cup of sugar, mix well, add 2 cups of flour, mix well, add some water, mix well, and so on, thats what an Atom would do. Other CPUs would realize that it doesn't need to do it in that order and optimize it. You get the same result, but it did things a little quicker.
Because of this, some code runs fast, some runs slower. If the instructions are aligned where they are optimized already, it will run that bit quickly, otherwise it will not. The chances of it getting most of the code in that order is very low.
So, then we get to the other parts of the system. The RAM is what it is. Dual channel would be a bit faster, but the performance increase is small overall.
Next we get to that glowing jewel in the n10, the GPU. For a system with such a slow processor, the nVidia is a wonderful thing. Its not the latest and greatest, but very fast for a netbook like this.
So, back to the speed thing. Let's look at Flash. The current release version of Flash chokes on HD Youtube video. Why? It has to use the CPU to do the work. There is a beta version (10.5) that can push off some of that work to the nVidia GPU and when it does, full screen HD works. It uses the strengths of the system.
There are so many variables with a system when it concerns performance, but the n10 (or any similar netbook) adds more to the confusion.
The only thing I can tell you is if you try a program and it doesn't work well, look for a different program that does the same or see if you can tweak it. There are always programs out there that will take better advantage of the hardware the system has.