AAPL) iPad and Amazon's ( AMZN) Fire is going to sell. Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), Research in Motion ( RIMM) and Dell ( DELL) have already failed. But there are two initially important factors to consider and most media efforts -- including The Wall Street Journal's "Microsoft Unveils Surface Tablet to Rival iPad " -- miss both. For one, we hear a lot about various Surface features, from the keyboard to kickstand. But how long did these journalists who are pontificating about this new product actually have their hands on it? The Journal is vague, saying only that Microsoft "showed off" the product. What does that mean? The answer is important because you can't get an adequate sense of a keyboard, resolution, apps or general ease-of-use without playing around with the tablet for a while. Though the Journal failed to clue us in, CNNMoney did: "Microsoft didn't allow the press much time with the device -- those at the company's launch event were given just a few minutes to pick it up, toy around with it and flip through some of the screens." If the media didn't have adequate time with the Surface, take anything you hear about it at this point (positive or negative) with a high degree of caution. Beyond that, the Journal did not mention a central early factor that could make sales tricky. The New York Times filled us in: "One thing that will most likely limit sales of the tablet is Microsoft's initial plan to sell it only in the company's own retail stores, along with its Web store. Microsoft has opened 20 stores, and five more are coming soon." These are not merely (sorry!) surface items -- and should be mentioned prominently.