Me: Hey Mom guess what SSD's are awesome wanna see why?
Mom: Sure I guess?
Me: -Throws Western Digital Terabyte on ground and it no longer works.
Mom: WHAT THE HELL!
Me: Throws Kingston SSD on the ground, still works.
Mom: Yes, but why'd you destroy your terabyte!
Me: Pfft, you kidding that was my friend Billys.
Billy: WHAT THE F--- BRO!
Mom, think of your pet hamster and how cute it is as it runs on its wheel. Then feed it some crystal meth and watch it turn the wheel so quickly, his whole cage shakes and he shrieks with joy at his new found speed. That's an SSD.
The least tech savvy people would probably understand:
Know how you have to wait a minute or two after turning a computer on to start doing stuff?
Well, with these, it as well as starting other applications (things) takes mere seconds.
Or are we assuming the person we are explaining it to also has some other handicaps?
I wouldn't. I generally operate on the "if you don't know what an SSD is, you probably don't need it" theory. If she asks me why I bought one, I'll just tell her it's new tech and she'll understand why I bought it...
This is easier than you guys think. Moms are not stupid. Just tell them a hard drive spins like a record player only faster, and is made out of the same material as an 8track tape(close enough for moms). Then tell them a SSD is solid state components like a transistor radio...no moving parts, no wires, no vacuum tubes, no magnets, no nothing.
Pretend you are shopping, you have 100 items to pickup. You have to physically move to each item you wish to pickup. No matter how quick a shopper, picking up 100 items will still take a certain amount of time. The is essentially how a conventional hard drive works. It has to follow a physical path to pick up each piece of data. Now imagine if you had to pickup those same 100 items and instead of having to follow a physical path all you had to do was think of the next item and you were instantly in front of it. This would cut down your shopping time considerably. This is essentially how a solid state drive works. A conventional hard drive has to follow a physical path a solid state drive has direct access to each piece of data thereby increasing data collection and storage immensely.
Your new Laptop's came with an internal SSD drive also called "solid state drive" which uses a bunch of computer chips which store your data. The old hard drives used spinning disks similar to a record player but are capable of reading and writing. Now the best part about your new SSD drive is it's fast, no more going to get yell at dad while waiting for your PC to turn on! You may also want to know if you throw your laptop at dad (by accident) you won't lose any data or have to log back into Facebook because you had a blue screen, the SSD drives simply have no moving parts to break.
I don't have one, and I don't want one, so the precept is wrong. Is there an alternative prize?
Having already explain basic computer concepts, it would be comparatively easy to explain to my mother, but if one was to assume someone that knew little about technology, it's always best to keep things very simple, even if it means sacrificing some accuracy.
I'd just say it makes starting things go faster, but does not make much difference with something after it's already started. The downside is it's more expensive for the capacity.
Anything more, you get a glassy, confused look, and they give up understanding any of it, and just figure they'll ask their equally uninformed friend, who'll give an answer she heard from someone else (her cousin's dog trainer, who's a nerd so must know), but somehow is simple enough to make sense (and inaccurate enough to be detrimental to her understanding). So, you don't bring up the failure with write cycles, or power characteristics, or thermal differences, or different types of SSDs, or talk about magnetic media, or ever mention "Winchester" technology, or talk about differences between RAM and "permanent" storage, etc... I learned the hard way, when you tell people more than they want to hear, or get it accurate enough to where you feel comfortable with what you've said, you lost your audience by the second sentence.