Not to forget the clearly space-age styling of the 400 which looked as if it might fly away any minute
I had my first ˋcomputing experience on a ZX-81 (Timex 1000) borrowed from a friend who was on summer vacation, hooked up to the kitchen TV, standing bent over a kitchen cabinet (or sitting sideways). A friend had a VIC20 at about the same time which felt a lot better.
Had the luck to get an 800 for Christmas, so I only experienced the 400 keyboard on a friends machine. Better than the Sinclair, which had no feedback at all. We remained the only classic Atari users and only after the appearance of the 800XL did our ranks grow. There might have been more C64 users after a while (including my VIC20 friend), but we Atarians mostly kept to ourselves.