One in five (20 percent) of online shoppers plans to buy a tablet PC in the next year, says Shopzilla.

Research by the online shopping search engine revealed six percent of Europeans that buy goods and services on the web already own a tablet PC, such as Apple's iPad 2, the BlackBerry PlayBook or a similar tablet PC that runs Google's Android operating system.

Furthermore, the tablet PC appears to be driving online shopping as 71 percent of tablet owners admitted they have already bought or would buy goods online using the device. More than half (53 percent) said they used the tablet PC to share nline shopping sites and deals with friends.

The news comes just weeks after eBay revealed that tablet PCs now outsell traditional desktop PCs. In May 2011 eBay UK sold 18,308 tablets and eReaders, compared with just 13,155 desktop PCs.Laptops still make up 70 percent of computers sold on eBay, although that's down from 80 percent in 2010.