Meh. I got one of these in an auction last year after my DC14 full kit seemed clunky without the ball. Not too impressed honestly.
1. The ball does seem to help maneuverability a bit, not dramatically though.
2. The business end of DC41 is much smaller than the DC14 and can flatten out for under couches and such
3. Handy little vent at the bottom of the hose. When I've sucked up something heavy or long, like a ring or a pencil, it pops out the back so I don't have to dig in nasty dirt! wewt!
4. Easy and clean method of dumping the dust out of the hopper
1. Makes a very high-pitched squealing noise when operating. I thought it was a flaw in the refurb, but when I switched it out for a new one, it was still there. Not a deal breaker but sorta annoying considering the DC14 is really quiet.
2. The added maneuverability isn't really that dramatic. True, it can do a quick 180 in not much space, but I've found it's still easier to just lift it up and turn it around. Also, when flattened out, I've found the ball makes little to no difference at all.
3. The dirt hopper is much smaller and, as such, fills up much quicker.
4. If you've got long hair, watch out. It may not lose suction from dust, but the smaller hopper allows my long hair to clump up and gum up the works.
5. The DC14 was already complicated but this is even worse! The hose is confusing to get out as there is no button like there is in the 14, you just pull. I find myself trying to figure out why the hose isn't sucking just to find it's not pulled out enough. You can adjust the angle along the joint, but unless you push a red lever, it wont start sucking. Also, you have to make sure the roller button is on otherwise not much gets done. I think they tried to make an already great vacuum better by adding a lot of unnecessary features. Instead it's just difficult to use.
Maybe I'm missing something obvious, maybe I'm finally losing it... all I know is I'm an engineer and I had a heck of a time figuring this thing out. Great vacuum otherwise, but I'm still using my DC14. The DC41 is still collecting dust, just not in a good way...