I have been very impressed with the English Standard Version since its publication in 2001. Of the multitude of English translations of Scripture available, it may well be the best combination of accuracy, readability, and literary quality. Up until now, the one major disappointment, as many other reviewers have noted, has been the rather poor quality of publications in which it was available.
WIth this new edition of the Classic Reference Bible, it appears that Crossway has finally achieved the goal of providing a high quality ESV Bible. While the text, references, footnotes, maps, and concordance are identical to the already published Classic Reference Bible, there are, in my opinion, three unique improvements in this edition that commend it to anyone who loves and prefers this wonderful translation:
(1) The print type is larger, a 10.5 size (vs 9.5 in the original Classic Reference), which makes it easier to read. This is especially true with regards to the references and footnotes, which were practically illegible to my 40+ year old eyes.
(2) The wider margins allow notetaking, a real plus.
(3) While I don't claim to be a binding expert, it does appear that the binding used (at least on the genuine leather edition) is of a higher quality than on the original edition, which is a much needed improvement.
In summary, I would commend this edition of the ESV without qualification, unlike the earlier editions.