I have seen nothing to indicate that the glass itself is doing anything to increase the quality of the underlying display. I am not a physicist, but I’m pretty sure that, at most, what glass can do is stay out of the way. At least in this context. Poor quality glass will distort, blur, and colour shift what the raw LCD is generating, so the more clear and transparent the glass is, the better it will be as a protective surface. I’m not sure if it would be physically possible for a smooth sheet of low-refractive glass to improve what is underneath it. Glass can be used to increase certain image properties as light passes through it—consider the camera lens after all—but the emphasis there would be on certain properties. Lenses are week in other areas, especially around the edges where refraction and chromatic aberration becomes an issues, producing undesirable light bending effects even on the most expensive lenses.
Digression aside, everything I’ve seen about the new glass technology is that it is more scratch-resistant and thus will retain its clarity and LCD transmission, without cover-screen protection, for longer periods of time. Even Apple’s superlative-filled iPhone page doesn’t claim that the glass makes the pixels easier to read than they would if there was a cheaper coating.
But on its durability, I wonder how it compares to other glass coatings? Their page only touts how strong it is in comparison to plastic. We all know you can scratch a plastic surface with your fingernail. That’s like promoting how strong your steel is because it’s 3,000 times tougher than pine wood.
Sorry, I just read marketing from any source with a very cynical retina.
As for what you saw: I think you saw a laserjet quality digital screen, which would, yes, look quite a bit like a magazine. Which is mighty impressive, no doubt about it, I just don’t think the protective glass coating had much to do with it.
Sidenote: I think the only exception to what I’m saying is when glass is specifically used to correct a flaw in the underlying light transmission, or to smooth/diffuse light in situations where a pure transmission would be undesirable. Example: the AA filter over a digital camera’s light capturing chip. These spread out light frequencies on a microscopic scale, causing it to scatter and impact several light sensitive cells, reducing pixel overload and decreasing moire patterns and other issues. In this case, it could be said that a specially design glass surface is “improving” the light passing through it—but if you really get technical about it, it’s actually corrupting the transmission in order to cause the underlying flaws in an array of photosensitive cells to be less readily visible in the final photograph.