Amazon Kindle Fire
My first pick would be the Amazon Kindle Fire. This small tablet measures in at 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 inches (that's 190 x 120 x 11.4 mm), and has a weight of only 14.6 ounces (that's 413 grams). Within this small package you get a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. You get a TI OMAP 4 dual-core processor at 1 GHz per core along with 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of built-in storage. The device has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity along with a micro USB port. It does come with a highly modified version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, and it does lack features like expandable storage or HDMI output.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
Now the list of best tablets for college students doesn't end here, as I introduce you to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. With this model we are dealing with an even smaller setup, but the power is still up there, and we get a few added bonuses. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 ships with a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. You not only get a 1 GHz dual-core processor, but also 1 GB of RAM and up to 32 GB of built-in storage. The deal looks already better, but this small tablet even allows for a microSD card expansion. There is a 3-megapixel camera on the back with 720p recording and a VGA front-facing shooter. You get Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and a proprietary port. There is plenty of power and the best part is that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is both cheap and small. Measuring in at 7.63 x 4.82 x 0.41 inches (that's 193.7 x 122.4 x 10.5 mm) and with a weight of only 12.13 ounces (344 grams), this could be perfect.
Read my full review of Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 before making any choice.