I did some research on these handheld type units and have also read that inconsistencies in the ice cause false readings, but it sure beats the "weight on the string" method for measuring depth even if you have to drill a hole first, which you would have to do anyway if you were using a weight to measure depth.
Cabela's sells the Polar Vision for $144, but I found the new model on thornebros.com for $119 and that is with an air and water temperature sensor built in. That was the clincher over the Marcum LX-i, which boasted the same features (albeit the capacity to read to 299 FOW), but where I will be fishing reading up to 199 FOW is fine. The Polar Vision also boasts a fish finder. I didn't buy it with that in mind, but if it works then great. Good luck.