Sharp's Galapagos media tablets landing December 10, costing quite a few yen

Sharp's evolutionary tablets are coming, people. It's just that they're coming to Japan and they're not going to be terribly affordable when they do arrive. The Kin maker has just revealed a December 10 launch date for its Mobile and Home Galapagos models -- a 5.5-inch slate with 1024 x 600 resolution and a 10.8-incher with 1366 x 800 resolution, respectively -- pricing them at ¥39,800 ($474) and ¥54,800 ($653) for the Japanese market. As usual, direct currency translations are inadvisable, but if you must have a price comparison of some sort, the larger Galapagos model (equipped with an 8GB microSDHC storage card) costs ¥4,000 less than Apple's 32GB WiFi-only iPad. Of course, the big differentiator in Sharp's mind will be the e-bookstore and content ecosystem it's working so hard to create for these Galapagos terminals -- the value of which has yet to be determined.