Anymore these days, I'm pretty much running box-stock software, so I haven't gotten crosswise with the v.7 Autosandbox. And you're right -- "adequate" system specs does usually translate into "barely crawling."
A good chunk of my problem is my own computer-use habits: on my larger, faster systems I tend to use the right-click "Open Link in New Tab" option when browsing, progressively slowing the system when I'm chasing one or another research topic. Needless to say, that is VERY BAD PRACTICE when I'm using the Netbook. That system is adequate for basic functions (planning, scheduling, communication, light browsing), but sometimes I get carried away ... at an increasingly slower pace.
It was mostly during those "carried away" (over-use) times that the Norton product seemed to be overly slow. My 2011 Kaspersky AV product was significantly faster on the Netbook than is the 2012 Norton, so that's the subjective comparison standard for perceived speed. The Kaspersky 2011 installation "expired" after NIS 2012 was out and "reviewed"; since NIS 2012 was supposedly faster than the 2011 Kaspersky set, I decided to try Norton.
Murphy's Law: soon after I got the NIS 2012 on all 6 of our computers, the reviews on Kaspersky 2012 came out and, sure enough, the 2012 Kaspersky got the nod over NIS 2012.
Personally? I'm more familiar with Kaspersky's interface, and I prefer Kaspersky's ability to micro-manage updates, scans, and other tasks, rather than the "automatic" nature of many of Norton's tasks. The difference is not so great that I'll ditch NIS 2012 on the faster systems, though I will likely return to Kaspersky next year. Meanwhile, though, I'll get some road-time with Avast!Free on the little Netbook, and -- who knows? -- might persuade myself to go all-Avast! by this time next year.
Thanks again for your help!