1981, my two younger brothers and I got a Sinclair ZX81 with the 16k wobbly ram upgrade.Bought from one of the tabloid newspapers I believe. It was a Christmas present. We also got a cassette recorder to and a bright red Hitachi 14" B+W TV.
To be honest I hated it, I know that sounds ungrateful, and that lot would have cost my parents a small fortune at the time, but, in the same newspaper I remember seeing the Atari home computers advertised.
We did a lot of typing in of programs, and played a lot of games, but we still yearned for an Atari.
A couple of years later, again for xmas we got a 16K 400,410,joysticks and some games (Missile Command,Asteroids and Atari Invaders on cart) That year we also got a colour portable TV from my Grandparents. I guess this would have been around the time of the XL range being launched and the 400 being price dropped. A few months later we got the 400 upgraded to 48K.
Awesome times, 3 player Asteroids, trying to be quiet 'cus we should have been in bed. It was a regular thing for my dad to shut off the power for the whole house if we were playing games too late. He knew that we wouldn't try and load Bruce Lee from cassette (20 mins) again that night
god rest him. Happy days