Normally any Android phone or tablet with even a mild community interest will be quickly given root access, allowing for more powerful apps and (usually) custom ROMs to be installed. But in the case of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet released way back in August of 2011,  that freedom has eluded owners for some time. An enterprising modder named Dan Rosenberg has finally managed to crack the black plastic nut, and score himself a nice bounty of nearly $800 in the process. It wasn’t long before the boys at XDA had ClockworkMod recovery running, too.

The root process is about as complicated as they come for Android – those hoping for a one-click solution will have to look elsewhere. You’ll need to install custom drivers, go through the Android SDK (which requires Java) add the ADB tool like most root exploits, the run some custom code, then connect your tablet to your computer, making sure that USB debugging is enabled, the screen is unlocked AND it’s connected to a WiFi network. After running the exploit, the world is your oyster or mollusk of choice.

Since it’s taken so long to get root access, there’s a definite dearth of customized apps and ROMs for the ThinkPad Tablet. That said, it shouldn’t be long before someone releases a “clean” version of the Honeycomb software already installed, with Lenovo’s user interface tweaks removed or hidden. There manufacturer has already promised an Ice Cream Sandwich update for the tablet, but you can bet that there will be an AOSP or CyanogenMod 9 release long before that.

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[via Android Police]