Advent Vega stock proves slippery

The Advent Vega low-cost Android tablet looks like being the most wanted tech gift this Christmas - but continuing stock shortages are leaving retail staff harassed and punters empty-handed.

When we covered the launch of the Advent Vega on PC World's website last month, little did we know that the device would sell out in just a couple of hours - and that it would continue to be a scarce commodity almost a month later.

It's easy to see why the Advent Vega has proven popular: an Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset offers raw power, while the latest Android 2.2 operating system comes with a wealth of improvements over the older versions that ship with many tablets, and the £249 price tag puts it firmly into the 'bargain' category. News that one of the major restrictions on the tablet, the lack of Android Market access, had been surmounted only served to spur demand to greater heights.

As much as the sudden surge in the device's popularity took us by surprise, it's nothing compared to what is happening within the walls of the headquarters of DSGi, PC World's parent company. We've been hassling our contacts there for updates on when stock might arrive in order to give you, our dear readers, the heads-up - but so far two allocations have arrived and sold out quicker than anyone can pick up the phone to tell us.

While Apple's iPad was undoubtedly successful, rebooting the entire tablet market overnight, the Advent Vega is proving the must-have gadget this Christmas - which makes it a major blow for DSGi to be unable to meet the staggering demand, which has even seen chancers listing their Advent Vegas on eBay in an attempt to cash in on the current scarcity.

With each shipment selling out as soon as it comes in, time is running out for DSGi to pull its socks up and get the tablet back in stock for the lucrative Christmas period - otherwise it could find interest waning in the new year when companies launch rival devices based around the pending release of Android 2.3.