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Advent Vega gets Android Market access

Judging by our traffic at the moment, the Advent Vega is still proving a hot topic - despite having sold out within hours and not being seen since. Things are heating up, however, with an enterprising hacker adding Google Market and more to the device.

The low-cost Tegra 2-powered Android tablet, priced at an incredibly reasonable £249 from PC World, sold out within hours of the initial stock run - and hasn't been available to buy since.

It's not hard to see why: it has HDMI output, Android 2.2, 1080p video playback capabilities, and a capacitive touchscreen. The only drawback to the device is its lack of official support from Google.

Unlike your average 'Powered by Google' smartphone, the Advent Vega doesn't include any Google-specific apps. You don't get Gmail, Google Maps, Voice Search, Google Places, or Google Talk. Worse, you don't get access to the Android Market - so you're cut off from easy access to the hundreds of thousands of third-party apps on offer for other Google devices.

All that changes, however, when you install a custom ROM upgrade from Android hacker Paul O'Brien. As detailed on MoDaCo (opens in new tab), the ROM unlocks the hidden features of the Vega, putting all the Google apps in their rightful places - and allowing full and unexpurgated access to the Android Market.

It's a massive breakthrough, and one which is likely to drive the already high demand for the tablet through the roof. Better yet, it's pretty easy to install, with scripts provided for machines running Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X.

Sadly, if you haven't already got an Advent Vega to try it on, you could be waiting a while - despite rumours on other sites that a shipment had arrived earlier this week, PC World owner DSGi has yet to confirm to us when the tablet will be back in stock.

As soon as we know more, we'll update you. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.