I'm on the fence with the whole handbook thing bc often candidates use the HB as a crutch and study how to be efficient at searching for the standards etc to copy paste into their exam vs actually understanding the standards themselves. I found the flash cards were more than enough to pass. Also, typically there is only 1 or 2 obscure FR issues that may need the HB so if you score well on the others you are likely to come out okay.
Of course the HB is used all the time (daily as you noted), but under an exam scenario it eats valuable time using it Imo. Further, you are at the mercy of the software and even prior to this year there has always been issues.