You CAN make espresso and even ristretto with this machine
Positive Product Points
Cheap, CAN make espresso and ristretto (READ BELOW).
Negative Product Points
Staticky plastic, plastic in general.
I bought this machine a few days ago. Before I even fired it up, I opened it up and modified it to grind smaller. I don't know if this was necessary or not because there is debate on the internet on wether or not Solis has adjusted the latest batch of grinders to grind finer straight out of the box.
In any event, I modified it to grind smaller. Now the smallest grinder setting doesn't even allow coffee to fall into the burrs. So anywhere below the halfway mark on the grind settings is good for my espresso. I stick more towards the middle for 30 second shots and dial it in on the second-to-last setting for ristretto.
I can say that I am overall happy with this machine because A) It keeps me from going to Starbucks everyday for a QP of ground espresso. B) It outperforms Starbucks commercial machine, which they grind their espresso in. Example: I tried espresso from their machine ground at 2.0 and 1.0(turkish setting) and everywhere between. They never were fine enough to work at home.
So, you are wondering if you can get by with this machine. I can say that it is a safe bet that you can bring it home, plug it in, and produce a grind fine enough for espresso. If it doesn't grind fine enough, it can be modified as I did. I would venture to say that modifying this thing will probably only be necessary for those seeking to make ristretto shots, but am not sure as I have not used it in its store-bought state.
It was fast and easy to buy this at a local Starbucks. I asked for a free pound of beans to help get it dialed in and they had no problems with that.