So ... in non-technical words, I need to replace my headset & any other accessories that used to plug into the microphone jack with my old Thinkpad with accessories that use a "3.5 mm stereo mini-jack" ?
Is that mini-jack compatible with "standard" input connectors?
You'd think Lenovo could include a photo of the "standard" and "new".
I'm looking at 3.5 mm jacks thinking that 3.5 mm is the magic feature, and they'are ALL 3.5 mm.
Will go with your Radio Shack idea. Mission for the weekend.
What is the protocol for reconnecting with you later to follow up?
Carl, the 3-ring 3.5mm plug may or may not be the answer.
I am having trouble sourcing a microphone that uses such a plug. The only ones available are for Blackberry, iPhone etc. and it's not clear whether they are compatible with a PC. I bought a Blackberry mike, but it doesn't work. There may be something Blackberry-specific, so I am going to see if there is a generic cellphone mike and test with that.
I'm beginning to suspect that Lenovo has built the T400 using the combined mike/line-in component to save space, but there are no readily-available consumer products that are compatible. One online store that sells cables refers to their stock of 3-ring 3.5 mm cables as "hard to get".
So at this point, the problem is NOT solved in the sense that the external mike still does not work. And if I do manage to buy a plain old microphone for PC with a 3-ring plug, it still may not work due to Vista or Lenovo settings.
However, in all fairness, your answer is correct in that this T400 requires a mike with a 3-ring plug. Even if such an accessory does not exist for PCs. So I'll accept your answer.