I was so excited to order this Bible-I thought it would be different. It is not easy to study. It is meant for perhaps a seminary student or similar. I am a lay person who just wanted to study the Bible with some additional background. This Bible is like an Encyclopedia. I will probably be donating it to a church or person in need of a Bible. The print is TINY and the notes are difficult to read. I just wanted something else.
I purchased the chocolate/blue ivy design. I struggled over buying the personal or full size version and decided to get the personal size for ease of portability and knowing I had access to all the articles of the full size version online. The Bible itself met all my expectations. I could not find any way to access it online, though. I went to Crossway's site and found I needed a code. I contacted CBD and they referred me to Crossway who very kindly set up my online version. In comparing it with my Bible, I couldn't find anything online that wasn't in my actual Bible. I looked up the articles found in the full size version and found all of them in my personal sized version. Perhaps this is why the online access codes were not included?
No matter what, I am very pleased with this purchase. Just realize it may take a little more work to get the online version if your Bible doesn't include a code.
I recently received my copy of the 2016 text edition of the ESV Personal Size Study Bible in the Portfolio/Walnut Trutone design. This Bible came in perfect condition and is exactly what I was looking for to replace my "standard size" ESV Portfolio/Walnut design study Bible--for increased portability.
I love many attributes of this Bible: lays flat (after using it for a bit, doesn't take much for it to lay flat), black letter text, size 7.7pt font is very readable in a single column layout (I would recommend Crossway's other Study Bibles with larger font if small font is a problem for you), ribbon marker, and much more!
I am definitely a fan of Crossway's Trutone bindings, but have been spoiled with some of their higher end bindings recently (top grain leather and goatskins). With that said--I would still HIGHLY recommend their trutone leather and not let that deter you from purchasing this Bible.
I also have a friend that is very happy with the cloth over board w/ royal imprint version of this ESV personal size study Bible. I would recommend that one as well.
Lastly, the 2016 text addition seemed to have re-added the extra articles that Crossway's standard size study bible has--I believe the 2011 versions removed this to save on size.
You will be getting a lot more than a Bible with cross references with this Bible--you will get a TON of commentary and bonus articles/theology.
Lastly, it is still somewhat big for being a personal size, but compared to other personal size study bibles of other translations, it is definitely in line with a typical "personal" size study Bible.